If You Fall In A Store, Is The Store Automatically Responsible?
You spilled some coffee while shopping. You then slipped and fell on the spilled coffee, causing serious injuries and even surgery. Is the store liable for your medical expenses and other damages?
Not necessarily. People often assume that if they are injured while in a store, restaurant, office, or other place of business, then the establishment is automatically on the hook for any damages. This is not the case and this is not how premises liability law works.
Premises liability law is not an insurance policy. A property owner is not automatically liable when someone gets injured on their property. Instead, there needs to be proof of negligence. Since each slip and fall case is different, the judge will have to look at all the facts involved. That’s why it’s important that you as a victim gather all crucial evidence in your case.
In order to recover compensation, you must be able to prove fault on the part of the store. For example, you will need to prove that the dangerous condition was created by a store employee or faulty store equipment, or that the dangerous condition existed for a long period of time and there was plenty of time to clean or correct it, or at the very least, warn store customers of the dangerous condition.
The grocery store will not pay for your medical bills or other damages unless they are liable. Some businesses do have insurance policies in place, but they may or may not cover your situation. For example, workers’ compensation coverage is for injured employees only. Some businesses do carry medical payments coverage, but it would provide limited coverage to pay for your medical bills without regard to fault.
What Needs to Be Proven
Liability in a slip and fall case is not automatic. It needs to be proven by the existence of these four elements:
- Duty means that a property owner has an obligation to keep a property safe. Duty typically exists if you are a customer on a business’ premises.
- This means the property owner must have known about the spilled substance or other unsafe condition.
- Dangerous conditions. As a victim, you will have to prove that the condition was indeed dangerous and that you were using the property as intended.
- If you slipped and fell, but were not injured, then you cannot file a claim. You will need to prove that you were injured or property was damaged. You will need proof of medical expenses, lost wages, or other damages.
Contact Us Today
Slips and falls can be embarrassing situations. And while you may be injured, the store or other property owner is not always liable.
A Kissimmee slip & fall lawyer from Draper Law Office can help you understand your legal rights and inform you of what needs to be proven so that you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries and other damages. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 743-6628 or fill out the online form.