Whether you are shopping in a nationwide chain like Target or Walmart, or a local small business, any retailer that invites the public onto its property is responsible for ensuring the premises is safe for customers to shop. If a customer slips and falls on a wet surface and suffers an injury, he/she may file a personal injury or premise liability lawsuit against the business to recover financial compensation.
In order to file a slip-and-fall claim, an injured party must prove the following conditions:
- The retailer (defendant) owed a duty of care to the injured party (plaintiff) – As we mentioned earlier, any business that is open to the public is legally obligated to ensure their customers are safe from harm.
- A hazardous situation existed, and the defendant failed to repair the issue – For example, there is a spill in one of the store aisles, which a worker or manager fails to address. After some time goes by without the issue being resolved, a customer accidentally steps on the spill, causing him/her to slip and fall.
- The dangerous condition must have existed long enough for the store to learn about it and within a reasonable amount of time to make the proper repairs – The longer the slippery condition has been present without any repairs, the more likely a plaintiff can prove that the defendant knew or should have known about the issue. However, if a person spills or drops something on the floor and then you slip on the item several seconds later, the retailer will not be liable for your injuries.
- The accident was unavoidable despite how cautious the plaintiff was at the time – Some slippery conditions—such as waxed floors—are often difficult to see. If a retailer puts up a warning sign, they may avoid being held negligent for a slip and fall. In contrast, failing to warn of a slippery condition on the floor can be viewed as negligence.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident in Colorado Springs, contact Patterson Weaver Law, LLC today at (719) 215-8049 for a free consultation. Serving clients in the Pikes Peak Region, including El Paso, Pueblo, Teller, Park, and Fremont Counties.