Slip And Fall Accidents In Retail Stores
Even in the age of online shopping, research has found that 54 percent of US consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar retail. There’s something about the tactile experience of shopping in person that we still love, and there are few better feelings than snagging a fantastic bargain. Yet, sometimes a trip to a retail store becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons, sadly enough.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of injuries in retail stores.” Some slip-and-fall accidents cause serious injuries, leaving customers requiring emergency medical attention. The effects of your injuries may last for months, years, or even the rest of your life.
In this situation, you need qualified legal support sooner rather than later. The committed Phillips Law Group is here to help. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for our clients, winning over $1 billion in compensation over the last 30 years.
Talk to one of our slip-and-fall accident lawyers by calling (602) 222-2222. Alternatively, complete our online form, and we’ll contact you to schedule a meeting.
Understanding Premises Liability Law
Slip-and-fall accident cases come under an area of law known as premises liability. Simply put, this means that the owners and occupiers of a property have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries to people who visit. Most visitors to retail stores are there at the operator’s invitation, but there are other categories of visitors to consider.
Duty to invitees
Retail store operators essentially invite customers to visit their stores, browse, and make purchases. As soon as we cross the threshold, the duty of care toward us as invitees begins.
This duty of care includes:
- Ensuring the property is safe
- Warning invitees of any potential dangers on the property
- Ensuring that employees do not create dangerous conditions
Duty to licensees
A licensee is on the premises but is not there to do business. So if a retail store operator holds a private party at the store for an employee and invites friends and family, they may be considered licensees. The store operator has the same duty of care to both licensees and invitees.
Duty to trespassers
Under Arizona’s Trespasser Responsibility Act, the possessor of a property does not have a duty of care toward trespassers. The only exception is that store operators must refrain from causing willful or wanton injury to the trespasser. There are also specific laws around avoiding harm to child trespassers.
What could constitute a breach of the business owner’s duty of care?
Causes of Retail Store Slip-and-Fall Accidents
First, you need to identify what caused your accident. Taking photographs at the scene, accessing CCTV footage, and talking to eyewitnesses may help. If you hire a Phillips Law Group premises liability attorney, he or she will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the cause.
Walk into most retail stores and you’ll see a shiny, polished floor. This may look great, but it can become lethal as soon as it gets wet. Therefore, business owners need to post wet floor signs to warn customers of dangers due to cleaning, spills, or runoff from rain or snow.
Business operators should also have protocols in place and train employees to follow them. Additional safety measures can be taken, such as putting extra mats down during inclement weather.
Retail store operators and owners must carry out regular inspections to ensure their properties are safe. If potential hazards are identified, signs should be put up and arrangements made for necessary maintenance.
Some potential risks include:
- Worn, frayed, torn, or curling carpeting
- Cracked, broken, or loose tiles
- Cracked concrete on exterior walkways
- Poorly maintained stairways
In some stores with a high turnover of items, it’s unavoidable that employees will need to restock the racks during working hours. However, training is needed to do this safely. Otherwise, cardboard boxes, packing materials, inventory, hangers, and other items can become trip hazards.
Business owners also need to ensure that stockrooms are kept tidy to reduce the risk of accidents for employees. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall incident while working in a retail store, our workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to help you.
Unlike supermarkets, retail stores often employ softer lighting to create a more relaxed ambiance. The problem is that this can make it harder to spot potential slip and trip hazards. Business owners must find the right balance between creating a mood and keeping guests safe.
So how can you prove that the store operator or owner was liable in premises liability cases?
Proving Liability in Retail Store Accidents
Proving liability can be complicated as there may be more than one potential source of damages. For example, the retail store owner is often different from the business owner. However, both parties may have responsibilities for maintaining the premises.
If the property owner fails to inspect the premises and carry out necessary maintenance, he or she might be liable. Yet, if the business owner knew about a hazard, failed to address it, or did not provide the proper training to the employees, he or she may also be liable. Your attorney will also consider how predictable the accident was and whether the defendants took reasonable steps to keep the premises safe.
Whichever party or parties are responsible, a premises liability lawyer must establish that:
- The liable party was responsible for the property at the time of the accident
- He or she breached the duty of care through negligence or recklessness
Our personal injury attorneys can conduct an investigation to demonstrate liability and how the negligence caused your injuries. He or she may use the following evidence:
- Photographs from the scene
- Store surveillance camera footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Expert witnesses
After building a solid case, our attorneys will calculate damages for the losses you have experienced.
Damages in Slip and Fall Cases
Damages vary from case to case, depending on the severity of the injuries and the defendant’s level of liability. For example, Phillips Law Group has secured settlements of $450,000 and more in slip and fall cases. So you can rest assured that our personal injury attorneys will fight for the best possible settlement for your case.
Slip-and-fall accidents can put you under considerable financial pressure. You can seek compensation for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- New expenses, such as caretakers, childcare, and yard work due to no longer being able to care for these tasks yourself
- Loss of future earning potential
However, there are other losses that are more challenging to evidence on paper.
Serious injuries cause losses that go beyond the financial. These losses could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of enjoyment of family life
An experienced slip-and-fall accident attorney will consider the full impact of your accident when calculating a fair settlement. However, you need to act fast, as in Arizona, you must file a claim within 2 years of the date of the accident.
Trust Phillips & Associates to Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Slip-and-fall accidents in retail stores can be very complicated. Insurance companies may try to pressure you into taking a lowball settlement or try to convince you that you don’t have a case. Dispel your doubts by talking to a qualified premises liability attorney with Phillips Law Group.
Our lawyers are 100-percent on your side. We will listen carefully to your story and explain your legal options. When we agree to take on your case, we will use all our resources to achieve the best outcome for you.
It all starts with a free case evaluation. Call us at (602) 222-2222 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with a member of our legal team today!
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
Sophia H is a pleasure to work with! Thanks for all you do.
Jasmine , did a great job . Highly recommend!!!!!
Liz was great
Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
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Sophia H is very helpful.
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group
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