Imagine you’re walking through a store on a stormy day when suddenly you fall due to the slippery shoe treads still present on the tile. Or imagine you are buying groceries when your foot slips on the remnants of a collapsed display. Both of these scenarios are a few of many that may constitute a slip-and-fall claim.
While weather and other uncontrollable conditions may be unpreventable, premise owners have the responsibility to ensure precautionary measures are taken. Failure to do so may result in a premises liability claim.
If you have suffered an injury on another’s property, you may have the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the premise owner. Read further to learn more about premises liability to see if it applies to your situation.
What happens if you fall inside a store?
Store owners and landlords have the duty of care to keep their location safe for customers. If you slip at a store, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. If possible, receive documentation or evidence at the scene to supply to your lawyer. Once the injuries are assessed, you should contact an Orange County injury lawyer for advice on how to proceed in filing a personal injury claim.
The outcome of a premises liability case will depend on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Here are some possible scenarios:
- Minor injuries such as cuts or bruises
- Severe injuries including breaks and sprains
- Catastrophic injuries including head trauma and paralysis
- In extreme cases, wrongful death can occur
Store staff members should be informed regardless of the scenario to ensure the safety of other shoppers. They may also request you fill out an incident report for their insurance companies.
Liability in a trip and fall lawsuit will depend on the circumstances surrounding the fall. For example, if the store knew about a loose ceiling tile or knew the floor was wet due to rain and failed to take action to amend it, they may be held liable. Similarly, any hazards caused by employees such as faulty product displays can indicate them in the claim.
In California, property owners are also responsible for any sidewalk or parking lot injuries. An Orange County injury lawyer will assess the situation and determine who to hold liable.
How long does a claim take for a fall?
There is no set time frame for a claim to be finalized. Slip-and-fall lawsuits will vary in length depending on if the case is settled or if it goes to trial. The complexity of the accident and the injuries endured can also impact the timeline.
Often major retail operators may be harder to reach than independent premise owners, which can also impact the case.
It is not uncommon for settlement to take years, so do not expect an immediate payout. Working with an Orange County personal injury law firm can help you ensure a seamless process, as they are equipped to navigate complex claims.
Major Corporations and Their Slip and Fall Settlements
An abundance of major retail stores have been the subject of trip and fall claims resulting from unsafe premises. Below are a few of the many claims across the country.
In 2013, a woman slipped on a “slimy, wet substance” draining from a nearby planter in the gardening section of Lowe’s. The jury awarded her $13 million for the fractured skull and subsequent loss of taste and smell, brain hemorrhage, chronic headaches, chronic neck pain, and anxiety and depression, all sustained from the accident. Medical bills, lost wages and earnings were also accounted for.
A man was awarded $7.5 million in damages after suffering a fall at an Alabama Walmart in 2015. The incident occurred when his foot became stuck in a watermelon display, causing him to trip. Walmart was found guilty of wantonness and negligence.
A San Diego Starbucks had to pay $7.5 million dollars in damages after a man slipped on a mopped floor and hit his head on a cash register. Part of the judgment went to his wife for loss of consortium, as her husband’s concussion left him physically injured and unable to work.
After a child lost two toes in a faulty escalator installed in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall’s Macy’s, the retail giant agreed to settle. Maintenance company ThyssenKrupp was also cited in the claim which alleged the two corporations failed to properly maintain the escalator which was initially installed in the 1950s.
It is important to note that trip and fall settlements are dependent on the individual situation. Some cases will go to trial, while others may just settle. An OC injury lawyer will help you decide the best deal for your circumstance. It is advised to use a contingency lawyer in matters like these as it will not result in upfront costs.
Personal Injury- Orange County Lawyer
Whether it is grocery shopping or browsing your favorite store, all customers deserve to feel safe. Trip-and-fall injuries are traumatizing physically and mentally, regardless of the degree of injury. If you suffered a fall due to the negligence of a store you should contact an OC injury lawyer immediately.
John J. Perlstein is a widely respected Orange County personal injury lawyer who regularly obtains successful settlements for Southern California slip-and-fall cases and other premises liability claims. He is not afraid to go to trial and will do everything in his power to secure maximum settlement amounts on behalf of his clients.
Personal injury laws can be complex which is why it is in your best interest to hire legal representation. Call John today at (213) 252-1070 to move forward in filing a slip-and-fall claim.