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Slip and Fall Accidents in Stores – Who’s Responsible?

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in a store, should you file a personal injury claim? And if so, who should you file the claim against? The following article will help you determine if you have a successful slip and fall case, and how to proceed if you do.

Was the Store Negligent?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, step one is to determine if negligence played a role in your accident. Simply falling in a store doesn’t mean the store owners or managers are at fault. Tripping over your untied shoe laces, for example, wouldn’t justify a personal injury claim. But what if you slipped on a slippery substance that hadn’t been cleaned up? Well, it depends…

In the “slippery substance” scenario above, negligence may be a factor. Consider the following two scenarios:

  • Scenario A: A child grabs a glass bottle of iced tea from the store shelf and drops it, spilling iced tea all over the aisle floor. The mother notifies a store employee who immediately runs to the storage room to get a mop and a “Wet Floor” sign. In the moments before the store employee can get back to the spill, an elderly woman steps into the aisle and slips on the iced tea, breaking two ribs. No sooner has she slipped than the store employee returns with the mop and sign. He sees the woman on the ground and immediately calls for help.
  • Scenario B: A child grabs a glass bottle of iced tea from the store shelf and drops it, spilling iced tea all over the aisle floor. The mother notifies a store employee who says she’ll clean it up. But the store employee is on her cell phone, discussing plans for that night. Although she intends to clean up the spill, she forgets. The spill remains, untouched, for over an hour. An elderly woman steps into the aisle and slips on the iced tea, breaking two ribs.

In both scenarios above, the elderly woman may be able to file an injury claim based on negligence. However, proving negligence in scenario A may be difficult. In both scenarios, the woman slipped on a spilled substance that hadn’t been cleaned up. However, in scenario A, the store employee was doing everything in his power too quickly and effectively clean up the spill. In scenario B, the store employee prioritized a personal phone call over the safety of store customers.

Determining Liability

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in a store, step two is determining liability. Is the store owner at fault? Or is it the store manager, property owner or landlord, or even a third-party vendor? If you slip on the walkway leading up to the store, for example, you might sue the store owner for any resulting injuries. But what if the store owner leases the property from a landlord who has continuously refused the store owner’s requests to fix the uneven walkway? A Boston slip and fall accident attorney can help you determine liability if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. What did you slip on? If you have a smart phone or camera, take pictures of the substance you slipped on or debris you tripped over, as well as any injuries (bruises, cuts, etc.). Ask any witnesses for their contact information. Also, ask around to determine how long the hazardous condition had been present. The longer a dangerous situation remains unresolved, the better your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. A MA injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you are injured in a slip and fall accident.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.