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