When you visit a retail store, you come to expect a level of reasonable safety. The owner of the property has a responsibility to maintain a structurally safe building, and the store owner is required to keep their storefront free from hazards that could harm customers and employees. If you slipped and fell in a store and injured yourself, you may have a personal injury claim. Our Anchorage personal injury attorney can serve as your tenacious advocate and fight to bring you justice. Below are some things to consider if you are thinking of filing a personal injury claim.
Who is Liable?
The first step is to determine who is liable for the injury. Our legal team will consider the cause of the incident. For example, was the water you tripped in brought in by your boots or was it a spill gone unnoticed for an unreasonable amount of time? If you slipped on a spill left by another customer, the responsibility would likely fall to the storeowner and not the property owner. If the water you slipped on was a leak from poorly maintained pipes, the property owner could be held liable.
Rules of Liability Claims
- Property Owner Responsible For Keeping Property Safe – Property owners are required to keep a property maintained at a reasonable level of safety. For example, a property owner’s tenant notified them the bathroom plumbing is leaking. 90 days passes, and the landlord has done nothing to repair the plumbing in the building. A pipe bursts and leaks water all over the retail store causing an unsuspecting customer to slip and fall. In this example, the property owner could be held liable for the customer’s injuries because they were made aware of the hazard and failed to remedy the situation within a reasonable amount of time.
- Was the Customer Using the Property Normally? For you to have a personal injury claim you must have been using the property normally. For instance, Michael enters a Starbucks looking to purchase a limited edition coffee tumble. He doesn’t see the tumbler on the store sales floor and decides to explore the back of house “employees only” area to look for it. He notices many signs as he enters the back of the store indicating this is an employee only area but ignores them. As he explores the back of house, he finds a storage area where Starbucks keeps their overstock. Michael spots the tumbler he came for on the top shelf; he thinks he can reach it if he jumps. Michael jumps but slips on the floor falling and knocking the shelf on his way down. Overstock and other supplies fall onto his head and body. In this instance, Michael could be held liable for his injuries because he was using the property incorrectly.
Questions to Consider
If you have suffered injury from slipping and falling in a retail store, you may want to ask yourself the below questions:
- Why was the floor slippery?
- Was there a warning sign the floor was slippery?
- Were you following all posted rules and regulations?
- If you were a customer, were you in an area designated for customer use?
How to Determine If You Have a Case
While the above is a helpful outline in determining if you have a personal injury case, the best way to find out if you have a case is to speak to an Anchorage personal injury attorney. If you slipped on a substance on the floor, our legal team could investigate what the substance was and where it came from. During our investigation we can help uncover if the manager was notified of the substance spill before your fall, if any other customers fell before you, and whether or not management made an effort to clean the substance from the floor within a reasonable amount of time. Call (888) 295-6566 to schedule a free consultation.