When you are in a store, there’s a general expectation that the aisles, checkout area, parking lot, bathrooms, and publicly accessible areas are safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Is a store liable for a customer’s injury? There are several factors to consider. If you sustained an injury at a store, there are practical steps to protect yourself and your ability to pursue legal action. A personal injury settlement or a premise liability claim are great options against the store.
What Are Dangerous Conditions in a Retail Store?
If you are wondering, What are dangerous conditions in a retail store? there are quite a few examples. They include:
- Spills and liquid pooling on the floor;
- Dimly or poorly lit areas;
- Broken equipment;
- Cluttered or challenging-to-navigate aisles;
- Uneven floors, steps, or curbs;
- Overly stocked shelves;
- Heavy doors;
- Poorly staffed security;
- Naturally slippery flooring, like linoleum or tile;
- Steep staircases or loose handrails;
- Potholes or cracked sidewalks;
- Broken glass;
- An unrestrained animal wandering the store;
- Unevenly stocked or excessively tall shelves; and
- Poorly built benches or other seating.
It’s essential to document every aspect of the injury in detail. Report the incident to a store associate right away, and don’t let them hurry you out of the store. Be sure to file an internal report with their governing corporate department.
Talk to witnesses of your injury and get their contact information if possible. Take pictures of where the injury happened. After that, consider filing an additional police report.
Maintain the clothes and shoes you wore during the incident in the same condition they ended up in right after the injury. If you decide to pursue legal action with representation, they can be evidence used in the personal injury settlement or premises liability claim.
Follow up with your medical provider immediately, even if you’ve already visited the emergency room. You could have sustained long-term injuries; if you do not document them, you will struggle to recover damages.
Gather copies of the internal report, police report, and any medical documentation together when preparing to file your case on your own or for your first meeting with your legal representation.
Personal Injury and Premise Liability Claim
The core legal question in a personal injury or premise liability claim against a store is whether their negligence caused your injury. California Civil Code 1714 holds property owners or tenants to a duty of care to maintain that property for the safety of those using the property. So a store has a reasonable duty to look out for your safety when you are on their premises. However, a store can claim that the injury resulted from your negligence. To prove that the store was negligent, you must argue:
- A dangerous condition is present,
- Your injury occurred because of that condition,
- The injury resulted in you suffering damages and loss,
- The store owner should have known or did know about the dangerous condition, and
- The store took no steps to fix the hazardous condition.
Keep detailed records of the entire incident to prove that the store is at fault. A lawyer can be an excellent help in putting this argument together.
What Damages Can I Recover?
If you suffered an injury at a store and are considering filing a personal injury or premise liability suit, you can recover monetary damages for the following:
- Lost wages,
- Medical bills,
- Lost quality of life,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Damaged relationships,
- Expected upcoming medical treatment,
- Medical devices needed, and
- Any over-the-counter or prescription medications needed.
Expected continuing medical treatment is important because slip and fall injuries can cause longstanding and chronic medical conditions. If a store offers you a settlement for the injury, be sure to seek the legal advice of an attorney before accepting. The injury results could be long-lasting, and the settlement amount may not cover it.
Silva Injury Law Advocates for You
If you sustained an injury in a store and are unsure if the store is liable, Silva Injury Law can help. Dealing with a chronic injury is difficult without considering the detail and planning needed to file a personal injury suit or premise liability claim. The most important thing is to get you healthy again, and Silva Injury Law would be happy to be there for you every step of the way. Passionate about solving problems and recovering monetary damages for you, Silva Injury Law is an excellent choice. Reach out to us today!
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.