January 9, 2017
Every business has a legal responsibility to keep their patrons reasonably safe while on the property. From corporate big box stores to local boutiques, if a business opens their doors to the public, they have to take the necessary steps to prevent customer injuries.
If a customer does suffer a slip and fall accident while at a business, that store may face a liability claim. There are several factors that can impact the degree of liability, as well as the amount of compensation that the store is obligated to provide to the accident victim.
Contributing Factors to Common Slip and Fall Accidents
The theme for most liability claims for injuries that occurred during any type of slip and fall accident is that the business failed to take reasonably necessary steps to remove unsafe conditions. In most cases, this is the claim that most store owners have to defend.
Most fall-related accidents are the result of hazards that are in the path of customers. These types of hazards can lead to a patron slipping, tripping and falling. It is not uncommon for floor mats in a store to become worn out or bunched up due to long-term foot traffic. When customers enter a store, they are typically preoccupied with other activities, which means that hazards near the front of a store are particularly dangerous.
Defending a Slip and Fall Claim
It is up to the claimant (injured party) to prove that the injury was a result of the store’s failure to take proper action. Put simply, they have to show that the store’s negligence is what caused the injury.
This means they have to provide sufficient evidence that there was someone working at the establishment who was aware of the hazardous condition. It also must be proven that the store failed to follow the necessary procedures to eliminate the hazard. Even if the hazard was the result of an action by an outside circumstance or person, the business has to remedy it.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
You should gather any tangible evidence present. You cannot just make a claim and expect to receive compensation, you have to be able to prove it. This is why it is so important to record and document the conditions right after the accident. This will create the best possibility of recovering compensation. The evidence you should gather after the accident should include the following:
- Notes on the conditions where the accident took place
- Pictures of any injuries that occurred
- Information from any witnesses
- Pictures of the surrounding area
- Photos of the condition that led to the accident
Make sure to take special note of any other contributing factors related to the area where the accident occurred. This can include arrangement or orientation of the aisles or missing or improperly placed signage. If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, contact Bautista LeRoy right away. They can help prove who is at fault in your case.