Will the store be liable for my injury? 36 Answers as of June 23, 2013

I slipped on a wet puddle several days ago. Will I be able to sue them? Are they liable for my injury? I sustained bruises on my hips and arms. I am having a hard time walking because of this and I was absent from work for 3 days. Can I get them to pay for my doctor's bills, medicine, and the days deducted from my salary?

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Legal Center of Homestead Abramson & Magidson, P.A.
Legal Center of Homestead Abramson & Magidson, P.A. | John M. Abramson
If the doctor says you have a permanent injury it might be worthwhile. Soft tissue injury is hardly worth the time and cost if you heal in a short time.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/28/2012
Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
Why didn't you see the puddle of water?
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/23/2013
Phyllis R. Williams, P.C. | Phyllis R. Williams
The general rule is that a store owner must keep their premises and approaches safe when they are open to the public. That store may be liable for your damages if they failed to exercise ordinary care. However, there are exceptions to that rule, for example on rainy days. Without knowing all of the facts of your case, I would venture to say that your case may boil down to whether the store had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition which caused your to fall and whether you lacked knowledge of that hazard despite the owner's exercise of the ordinary care.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/29/2012
Goodman & Goodman PA | Bruce Elliott Goodman
It is impossible to answer your questions without knowing more facts. A premise owner has a duty to warn or repair a defect to the premises of which they have knowledge, or should have had knowledge. Your ability to be successful in your claim will depend on the facts regarding the owner's knowledge regarding the spill.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 2/28/2012
The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
Yes to all of your questions! keep seeing your doctor until you are completely healed. Then call an experienced personal injury lawyer. Depending upon the nature and duration of your injury you will collect money to compensate you for those injuries. The greater the injury-the more the recovery. Hire a good injury lawyer-most likely, the fee will be a contingency fee of a percentage of your recovery.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/28/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    The store may be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and other damages. You do not indicate whether you actually fell after slipping. I will assume that you did fall. However, whether you did or not does not really change the analysis though. People can sustain injury by just slipping without a fall. Before the store would be responsible for your fall and injuries, you must prove the store was at fault. Generally, to prove fault or liability for a slip and fall as you described, you would have to prove all of the following: 1) That the store either created the wet puddle ("puddle"), knew of the puddle, or, by the exercise of reasonable care, would have discovered the puddle; 2) That the store should have realized that the puddle involved an unreasonable risk of harm to such customers within the store; 3) That the store should have expected that customers would either: (a) would not discover or realize the danger; or (b) would fail to protect themselves against the danger; 4) That the defendant failed to use reasonable care to protect customers against the danger posed by the puddle; and 5) The puddle and your resulting fall was a proximate cause of some damage to you. The most difficult elements to prove in most slip and falls cases such as yours are numbers 1 and 4. Things that might be important to determine #1, in no particular order, include, but are not limited to: where was the puddle located within the store including whether the puddle was near something that could have leaked or near the entrance or exit especially if it was raining or there was snow outside; how long had the puddle been on the floor; what caused the puddle; was the puddle from water or some other substance; how large of puddle was it; what type of flooring was below the puddle. Element #4 is partially dependent on #1 and deals with what the store should have done to protect you. Part of it goes to whether they had time to do something about the puddle. For example, if the puddle was caused by another customer spilling water, which the store sold, just seconds before it caused you to fall then you likely would not be able to win a case against the store. The store would not have sufficient time to know about the spill, unless a store employee witnessed it happening, and would not have time to do something about it. As to #3, while it is something you must prove, it usually is the basis for most defenses in slip and falls cases as well. The defense is called "contributory negligence" and, more specifically, failure to keep a proper lookout. You are required to see those things that can be seen and avoid them if at all possible. While I assume you did not see the puddle or you would have stepped around it, the question is whether you should have seen it had you been paying attention to where you were walking. There are things that can help defeat this contributory negligence defense such as poor lighting, the puddle was difficult to see as it "blended" into the color of the flooring or it was around a corner or aisle. In many slip and falls, there is a split of negligence between the store and the injured person's own contributory negligence. In Nebraska, to recover you must be less than 50% at fault for your own injuries and damages. If you are less than 50% at fault the amount of money you are entitled to is reduced by your own fault, if any. For example, if a case is worth $100.00 and the injured person is 10% at fault, the injured person would get $90.00 You do not provide enough facts for me to try and assess either the store's fault or your own possible contributory negligence. Assuming you can prove the store is at fault and you are either not contributorily at fault or your fault is less than 50%, then the store must pay all of your doctor's bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and other items depending on the full extent of your injuries and damages. If you are partially at fault, the amount you would receive would be reduced by your percentage of fault discussed above. Regardless of fault if the store has Medical Payments coverage, which is not required, then it will pay for your medical expenses up to their coverage limit. Most Medical Payment coverage limits are between $1,000 to $10,000. This money is paid regardless of fault assuming you did not intentionally injure yourself. Again, this coverage is not required and many stores do not carry it.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Slip and fall cases are tough to recover on.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    This type of claim is known as a "slip and fall" case. While depending on circumstances, liability might be established against the store, slip and falls are some of the more difficult cases due to the proof requirements. You will need to show that the wet puddle existed for a sufficient period of time that the store should have been aware of it and taken action to clean it up. If the puddle was at the entry point, that may be easier to establish than if it was in some other location where the store employees were less likely to discover the puddle. An attorney can help analyze the facts of your case and determine whether it is worth pursuing with a lawsuit. Often times it is appropriate to begin the process with a letter attempting to resolve the claim short of a suit.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You have not provided enough information to believe the business was or was not negligent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yea. But, your case sound small so you may have trouble interesting a lawyer in representing you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Yes you may sue, but negligence has to be proved and your injuries and loss wages should be documented. You should consult with a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer for specific legal advice and assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Who is "them" and they"? if this is a retail store of some sort you will have to prove that the water was there because of their negligence, and explain why you did not see it (you must not have any fault in the matter)) This is called a slip and fall case. Juries, Judges and lawyers don't like them very much and folks don't have much luck pursuing them in court
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to make a claim against a property owner (including stores, parking lots, apartments, etc) the injured party has to show that the owner knew or should have known of the hazard, had an opportunity to correct it, and failed to take action. So, you would have to prove that the employees of the store lot knew of the puddle, had time to clean it up, and did not do so. There is another possibility: some business owners have what is called a medical payments provision of a liability insurance policy. Although it is not required, this provision will pay medical expenses up to a certain amount, regardless of fault.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Premises liability cases involving liquid on the floor generally turn on two issues: 1) was the liquid there for long enough that the store should have seen it and cleaned it up before your slip and fall; or 2) was the liquid in a place where it often forms (e.g., a drainage problem during storms) such that the store should have taken steps to prevent it from occurring. Often the person who is injured has no way to know the answer to either question, but a lawyer (most personal injury lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis - they don't get paid unless you do) can conduct an investigation and obtain further information from the property owner. If you can prove negligence on the part of the store, you should be able to recover your losses.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    The store where you fell will be liable for your personal injuries and damages if you are able, with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, to prove that the store either knew or should have known that the liquid was on the floor for a sufficient period of time before your fall, so that the store's operator had an opportunity to clean the liquid, and failed to do so. We recommend you consult with a personal injury attorney before discussing the situation with the store's insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Maybe and maybe not. Most businesses have BOP policies covering some limited medical, but proving you fell on the property and the circumstances may prove tricky. These are not easy cases to present.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    The store may be liable for your injuries. I suggest you consult an attorney to review the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    There is not enough information to determine if the store is liable. Talk to a local injury attorney. If they are liable, they would be responsible for your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    Did the store have signs up warning of the puddle? Was it a complete surprise? Write your story in complete detail and send it with the doctor bills and employer's statement of lost wages and send that to the store owner by certified mail. Don't forget to multiply the sum of doctors' bills and lost wages by three times to present your total claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Assuming the store was negligent for failing to place warnings signs by the water, the store would be liable to you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Depends on a many different factors. Was the puddle inside the store? Were there any signs? Talk to a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You will have to have evidence that the store caused the wet puddle (rather than a customer) or that the store knew about the puddle and did nothing about it. If you have such evidence, you might win in court. Also, some stores have med pay policies that will pay medical bills for such accidents regardless of whether the store is liable.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    You should make a claim with the store. You will have difficulty proving that the store had knowledge of the claim. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You must prove that the store knew or should have known that the wet puddle was there and did nothing to remove it or warn you. This usually requires you to prove when and how puddle got there. You will also have to show that puddle was not open and obvious.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The category of cases dealing with situations like that is called "premises liability". An analysis of a premises liability case starts with determining the status of the injured person as trespasser, licensee, or invitee. The most favorable scenario for a plaintiff is that of a business invitee. "The possessor of land is liable for injuries to a business visitor caused by a condition encountered on the premises only if he (a) knows or should have known of such condition and that it involved an unreasonable risk; (b) has no reason to believe that the visitor will discover the condition or realize the risk; and (c) fails to make the condition reasonably safe or to warn the visitor so that the latter may avoid the harm."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    J Wayne Turley BC
    J Wayne Turley BC | Wayne Turley
    You can contact the store about paying your damages and see if they are willing to do that. The store may have medical payments coverage which would pay your medical bills up to a certain dollar amount, without you having to prove the store was at fault. Ask about medical payments coverage. If there is no med pay coverage, then your alternative is to sue the store or the premise owner for your damages if you cannot settle with the premise owner's insurance company. In that case you must prove fault, and the premise owner will have defenses such as that the puddle was open and obvious. You have a claim if you can prove the puddle was an unreasonably dangerous condition that the owner created or knew about or should have known about and should have corrected or warned customers about. If you can take photos of the puddle or a similar puddle in the same area, you should do so in order to have evidence of what the hazard was like. These cases are not easy but if you have good evidence, it is possible that you can succeed. The claim must be filed in court within two years of the incident in Arizona.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Parks Law Group
    Parks Law Group | Melinda J. Parks
    Did you file an incident report with the store? Was the wet puddle open and obvious (was it in the doorway and was it raining outside)? Did the store have a slippery when wet sign posted? I ask these questions because slip and fall cases are very fact specific and, usually, hard to prove fault. Do you know if the store had video cameras to show the wet spot? In any case, you should keep documentation of all of your medical bills and lost wages and speak to an attorney who can review the specific facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    In Utah, liability for a slip and fall can be very tricky to prove. You should speak with an attorney. You should also visit a doctor to determine whether you have significant injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Not every slip and fall is the store's fault. Go to a doctor if you have been hurt. Failure to promptly report the fall to the store probably dooms your claim. No one will remember enough detail.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    For a store to be responsible for your injuries you must show that they were negligent. A fall by itself does not obligate the store to pay for your medical treatment, time lost from work, etc. YOu must show that they knew that the condition that caused you to fall existed and that they failed to rectify same. I suggest that you contact a lawyer to discuss the facts of your case further.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Yes. You should hire a lawyer who will contact the store and start the process to settle the case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    You must notify them of your claim, talk to their insurance company to try and settle or you can just file suit now.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    You may have a viable claim. This would be a premises liability claim. There is an open and obvious defense. You should contact a lawyer experienced in these types of cases.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
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