Can I sue for slipping and falling in a store? If you’ve fallen and injured yourself because of an unsafe condition at a store, then you may have cause for bringing a legal claim. As public places that encourage people to come in and shop and spend money, stores have a reasonable duty to keep people safe. If they fail to do so and someone is injured, store operators may be guilty of negligence and be subject to a lawsuit.
What Conditions Can Cause Slip and Fall Accidents in Stores?
Slip and fall accidents can occur inside and outside of stores. Here are some examples of dangerous conditions that may cause injuries:
- Spilled liquids left on floors
- Frayed floor mats or rugs
- Cluttered store aisles
- Poorly placed items that fall into walking paths
- Poor lighting inside stores or on sidewalks and in parking lots
- Forklifts and other equipment operating in stores
- Cracks and other hazards in parking lots
These are just a few examples of ways in which injuries can happen. There are numerous others. The key to being able to sue a store when you are injured in a slip and fall is to be able to prove that the store was negligent. This isn’t easy to do because stores, especially large chains, have teams of lawyers defending them in these cases. A person who wishes to bring a lawsuit will be best served by having their own attorney. There are attorneys for slip and fall injuries in New York who know all the intricacies of the law and can help you understand your options for suing.
Proving Negligence and Liability in a Slip and Fall Injury Accident
To prove that a store was negligent, it must be shown that store operators or employees either created a hazardous condition, such as cluttering walkways with boxes or other tripping hazards, or knew about a hazardous condition and did not correct it. In the latter case, this could mean that another store customer spilled something on the floor that could cause a slipping hazard and alerted a store worker. However, the worker did not clean up the spill as they should have, causing a slip and fall. In any case, it will be up to you as the plaintiff bringing the lawsuit to show that the store knew or should have reasonably known about the danger. Additionally, customers are required to use reasonable care to protect themselves, so if there is an obvious and clear danger right in front of you and you trip over it, you may not be successful in bringing a lawsuit. As you can see, proving negligence involves many complexities, which is why it is often a good idea to contact a seasoned slip and fall attorney.
What Do You Do When You Slip and Fall in a Store?
The steps you take after a slip and fall in a store can impact your potential legal claim. The first thing to do is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In addition to ensuring your well-being, seeing a doctor right after you’ve fallen will be the first step in establishing a professional diagnosis and record of your injuries. Here are additional answers to the question what do you do when you slip and fall in a store:
- Examine the area where you fell to determine potential causes and take photographs if possible
- Get contact information for witnesses to your fall who you can contact at a later date if necessary
- Report your accident to the store manager and cooperate in filling out a report if one is requested
If you are considering bringing a slip and fall lawsuit, it is helpful to keep a file that contains all the information about your accident and injuries. In addition to doctor visit records and the other items mentioned above, keeping a daily written record of how much pain you are in each day, how the injuries are affecting your day-to-day activities and even how often you have to take pain relievers or other related medications can be helpful to your case.
How to File a Legal Claim for a Slip and Fall Injury
Now that you know the answer to this question “Can I sue for slipping and falling in a store” is yes, let’s look at how to go about filing a legal claim. To file a claim, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process and represent you with insurance companies and in the courtroom, if necessary.
It’s important to note that not every claim ends up in front of a judge. Sometimes attorneys can negotiate with the insurance companies of store owners to get their clients adequate compensation without filing a lawsuit. But if that is not possible, then the attorney will seek to prove that the store owner or operator was negligent.
The steps you took to gather evidence immediately after your fall will help to possibly prove negligence, as will additional information an attorney will collect. Your lawsuit will ask for compensation for your injuries that may include some or all of the following depending upon the circumstances and severity of your injuries:
- Medical expenses for doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs and other healthcare costs
- Costs of possible future medical care if needed
- Lost wages for the time you have missed at work because of your injuries
- Compensation for lost earning capacity if you can no longer work of if your work is limited
- Pain and suffering for both physical and emotional pain and trauma that you’ve experienced.
Consult a Skilled NY Slip and Fall Attorney for Help with Your Case
Bringing a lawsuit against a store can be a confusing and complicated process. If you have been injured and believe hazardous and negligent conditions at the store caused you to fall, a skilled attorney will work to provide liability and get you the fair compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other damages and move on with your life. The attorneys for slip and fall injuries at Kaplan Lawyers, PC are here to help you. Contact us at (516) 399-2364 to schedule a free case review.