When you enter a retail store, you have a reasonable expectation that the store is safe from any hazards. Most owners or store managers will do everything possible to make their stores hazard-free, but sometimes customers are injured because of unsafe conditions. Slip and falls are among the most common accidents shoppers are involved in.
When you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, you might sustain severe injuries that can cost thousands of dollars in recovery. It’s not fair for you to have to pay out of pocket when someone else’s negligence is the cause of your injuries. It is possible to seek financial compensation, but it might be hard to secure a fair settlement without an experienced lawyer. Instead of going it alone, contact the Law Offices of J.G. Winter.
Retailers Have a Duty of Care to Customers
In personal injury law, customers visiting a retail establishment are known as invitees. As an invitee, you’re entitled to safety anywhere while on the premises, including:
- Parking lots
- Dressing rooms
- Display areas
- Check out lanes
Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy anything to be an invitee. You can be in the store to browse items, return something, or apply for a job. In fact, customers are not the only “invitees” who enter retail stores. Invitees can include contractors and truck drivers delivering merchandise, or anyone else who enters for any reason.
What Is a Duty of Care?
A duty of care is a legal obligation to avoid causing harm to someone else, meaning that retail stores must make every reasonable effort to ensure their customers are safe from dangerous conditions. If the store fails to make this effort, the owner or manager might be negligent. Negligence occurs when the retailer fails at fulfilling their duty of care, making them liable for injuries invitees may sustain.
Causes of Store Injuries
People who visit retail stores can suffer injuries for several reasons. The most common are injuries sustained in these accidents are due to:
- Spilled liquids
- Aisle obstructions
- Merchandise falling from shelves
- Inadequate lighting in parking lots
- Faulty staircases, elevators, or escalators
- Sharp shelves
Injuries may consist of broken bones, cuts and bruises, back problems, or head injuries like TBI. It’s crucial to seek medical care after sustaining significant trauma.
How to Prove Store Negligence
Proving a retail store was negligent for your injuries is challenging. While retailers owe a duty of care to their customers, you and your attorney must prove that employees breached that duty.
Find Evidence of Hazards
To prove negligence, you must show there was a dangerous condition that the owner knew about and failed to clean up or repair that caused your injuries. You’ll also have to prove that you didn’t do anything to contribute to the injury. For a court or insurance company to believe you, you’ll need convincing evidence.
Report Your Accident to a Manager
At the accident scene, you should report the incident to a manager. They’ll likely have to file a report, and you should ask for a copy of it. If they cannot provide you with one, take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. This includes the surrounding area and any injuries. If you slipped on a wet floor, take pictures of your clothes if they are damp or dirty.
Talk to Witnesses About Your Accident
Talking to witnesses is also a good idea. They may have seen your injury and can give statements detailing what led up to the accident. Always obtain their contact information, including their name, address, and phone number.
See a Doctor
Finally, you should seek medical attention. You may feel fine or show no injuries, but a doctor can diagnose any internal damage. Additionally, you risk insurers denying or reducing your claim by saying your injuries aren’t as severe since you didn’t consult a medical professional.
Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in California
When you’re suffering from an injury caused by somebody else’s negligence, the financial burden can bring enormous stress and pressure, which won’t aid in your recovery. You might be entitled to financial compensation, and Attorney Jeremy Winter can ensure you receive a fair amount.
Jeremy Winter represents accident victims in the Sacramento area and throughout California, focusing on providing personal attention to every client’s unique case. You can trust him to protect your rights during this challenging time.
To speak with an accomplished attorney, call (844) 734-2626 or complete our contact form.