When you visit a retail business to make a purchase, you don’t expect to wind up falling and getting hurt. Unfortunately, if the store doesn’t engage in proper cleanliness and maintenance practices, you could very well wind up experiencing a slip-and-fall incident that results in injury or even property damage.
From a broken bone to a shattered phone, you may need to bring a claim against the company’s premises liability insurance company. You may even need to take them to court, which will require evidence that the business is responsible for what happened to you. Establishing negligence on their part is a straightforward way to validate your claim for compensation.
What constitutes negligence in a facility open to the public?
When a property owner or business manager makes a space open to the public, they theoretically have premises liability for anyone who gets hurt while visiting. In order to prevent people from suffering debilitating injuries on their property, owners or managers should have policies and practices in place to protect the company – and visitors.
Routine, even hourly, inspections of spaces open to the public can help catch issues before they cause a slip-and-fall accident. As soon as someone notices a spill, a puddle or another risk, staff should place signs to warn customers and then take steps immediately to address it.
Warning customers of potential risk is an important mitigation strategy. However, many companies ignore this step — for example, by leaving a puddle out in the open while someone goes to fetch a mop. If you slipped in that puddle and fell before they came back to clean it up, that is a potential case of negligence because they failed to warn you about a known hazard.
Establishing negligence can sometimes require reviewing security footage, talking to other witnesses or finding another way to prove that the company could have prevented your slip-and-fall. An experienced attorney can help you do these things and work to build a case.