If you slip and fall while shopping in a store, your first thought probably won’t be: “can I file a lawsuit.” But if you sustained injuries, you may begin to consider whether you have a potential claim or not. Determining who you should file a claim against, and just what your next few steps should be, might be overwhelming. A personal injury attorney in Fayetteville can explain your options and help you decide whether a lawsuit should be filed and who it should be filed against.
You must be able to prove negligence
In Fayetteville, Arkansas, just being injured on the store’s premises does not always provide a sufficient basis for filing a lawsuit. A store will only be liable for injuries from a slip and fall accident on its premises if it can be shown that the store was negligent, and it was that negligence that caused your accident and injuries.
In other words, there must have been some unsafe condition that caused your fall. There must also be some evidence that the store, or its employee(s) were negligent because they either knew or should reasonably have known the unsafe condition existed. Sometimes this evidence can be difficult to find.
Who is ultimately responsible for the premises?
In order for a lawsuit to be successful, you have to sue the right party. Determining who is responsible for your injuries can often depend on who is actually legally responsible for the premises. In cases where the party that owns the store actually owns the property, then generally the store owner is the only potential defendant. However, many store owners lease the property or the building in which the store is located. In that case, there may be a potential claim against the landlord or property owner, as well.
What type of negligence was the cause of your injuries?
Deciding who to sue can also be based on the type of negligence being claimed. For example, if you slip and fall because of a structural defect with the building itself, your claim would likely be against the landlord or property owner. However, if you slip because of something that was left on the floor and should have been cleaned up, then your claim would likely be against the store owner.
Common Issues in Slip and Fall Cases
Because negligence must be shown in order to be successful, there are some common issues that arise in slip and fall cases that you should be familiar with. One issue that may arise in situations where the floor was slippery, is determining why the floor was in that condition. It could make a difference if the cause of the slippery floor was a foreign substance, as opposed to rainwater during a storm.
A store owner is not required to keep the store in an immaculate condition. The premises must be reasonably clean and dry. If there is a storm, you would expect the floors to be wet to an extent and the store employees can only do so much to keep them dry. One thing the store must do, is provide some type of warning regarding the slippery condition, if it is known to them. As you can see, there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a slip and fall case. If you, or someone you know, has been injured as the result of a slip and fall in a store, contact a Fayetteville personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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