Retail Store Slip and Falls
California retailers are required to take reasonable care to maintain and repair their property so that customers do not slip and fall. Unfortunately many retailers may have a written policy requiring employees to inspect and clean the floors, but do not actually enforce the policy. Proving that a store's employees actually knew about a spilled substance or other dangerous condition or should have known is usually the most challenging part of a slip and fall case. In some cases, stores take video surveillance of the property, but the store only retains the video for a short window of time before taping over it. The ephemeral nature of the evidence is why you should consult an experienced Los Angeles premises liability lawyer immediately if you suffer a serious injury in a retail store slip and fall. Our attorneys can fight for the damages to which you are entitled.Retail Store Liability for Slip and Falls
A retail store is liable for a slip and fall if you can show (1) the store's duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. In general, all retails stores owe a duty of reasonable care to their customers, but duty could present an issue in the case of an after-hours thief that slips and falls in the store. The breach of the duty to use reasonable care includes actions such as letting a slick substance stay on the floor without cleaning it up, or washing the floors while customers are there and not using caution cones or posting other warning signs.
Generally, to prove negligence in a retail store slip and fall case, you will need to show that the store employees caused the condition that led to a slip and fall or actually knew of the condition that caused the slip and fall and failed to fix it. In some cases, it is sufficient for a plaintiff to show constructive notice, which exists where a defendant should have known of the dangerous condition if it had properly maintained and inspected its property for hazards to customers.
For example, if you slip and fall on a pool of grease in an automotive store, but the store does not admit fault, you will want to know how long the grease was there. The longer it was there, the more likely it is you can prove that the store should have known about it in the exercise of reasonable care and should have cleaned it up. However, if someone spills a cup of sample lemonade in a grocery store and one minute later you slip and fall on it, you it may be difficult for you to show the grocery store had constructive notice of it.
Most slip and falls that occur in retail stores are the fault of the store itself, whether it is the owner of the building, or simply occupying it. Slip and falls attributable to a retail store may be caused by floor wax, a banana peel, grease, water, or black ice. In some cases, a slip and fall is a structural issue with the building, in which case you can sue the property owner. For example, if there is a pothole by the back door of a building where a retail store is located, and you fall in it and break your leg, you might have a cause of action against the building owner.Consult an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney in Los Angeles
In general, it is important to figure out why you slipped immediately after the accident and to contact an attorney right away if you are injured and need medical care. In many retail store slip and fall cases, the substance that was on the floor will be mopped up immediately after a customer's accident. The dangerous condition, such as a pothole, may be filled. In some cases, retail stores only keep video footage of the premises for a short while before taping over it, unless they are told by your attorney to keep it. It is wise to take your own photographs of whatever caused your fall in addition to trying to identify what it is.
The injury lawyers of the Sharifi Firm, APC have years of experience gathering evidence for these cases and recovering damages on behalf of injured plaintiffs in the Los Angeles area. We represent accident victims in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.