Slips in a Store

posted in: Trip & Falls |

Slips and falls in supermarkets are a big problem.  So what happens if you slip on water in an isle that you didn’t see?  Is the store responsible for paying your medical bills, your wage losses or compensation for your pain and suffering?. Maybe.

Stores have a responsibility to keep their premises “reasonably safe.”  They are not, however, responsible for every slip and fall on the premises.  The law requires the injured party to prove by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ that the condition of the premises presented an 1) unreasonable risk of harm and that the 2)store knew about or should have known about the unsafe condition.  So how does an injured party prove those two necessary elements?

The first element, proving a dangerous condition is matter of common sense in most cases.  Is a puddle of clear liquid in an isle a dangerous condition to an unsuspecting shopper?  Usually the answer is “Yes!”  But how do you show the store knew about the condition or should have know?  If you can prove the store caused the dangerous condition the case improves greatly.  But that is not usually the case.  Proving that the store should have known about the spill becomes the challenge of the case.  If it can be done then the store is responsible for the damages.  If it cannot be done then the store doesn’t owe for medical bills, wages or pain and suffering.  These are difficult cases and it makes sense to contact an experienced lawyer soon after a slip and fall.