If you lose your footing and injure yourself in a store, you may face a host of new challenges, such as physical pain, inability to perform daily functions like you used to, and inability to work to support your family while you heal. Even if you are not eager to bring a lawsuit and go through the legal process, you need compensation for the economic and physical toll that your accident has taken on your life. Under what circumstances can you hold the storeowner legally responsible for a slip and fall?
What makes a storeowner legally liable
The mere fact that you suffered an injury inside of a store does not automatically make the owner liable for your injury. Instead, your attorney will have to prove the existence of certain elements before you stand a chance of being successful in a lawsuit.
First, there must have been a dangerous condition. In the setting of a store, this is most often something like spilled liquid, uneven stairs, a broken railing, unstable shelves and so forth.
Next, your attorney must prove that the storeowner or their employees knew about the hazard, or that they would have known about it if they had exercised a reasonable level of prudence and care.
Finally, the storeowner’s employees must have failed to take adequate steps to mitigate the danger – such as by quickly mopping up the spill, posting signs, and otherwise warning customers of the potential danger. This is because California law imposes upon every property owner the responsibility to exercise reasonable care to keep their premises safe for visitors.
What you can recover
If you are successful in your lawsuit, you can seek compensation for your medical bills. You can also ask for damages resulting from your physical and emotional suffering, as well as any missed pay resulting from your inability to work. In rare cases, if your injury results in permanent disability, you might be able to recover for your loss of future earning capacity.
Slip and fall cases can be nasty, and can result in considerable suffering for the victim. Sometimes, pursuing a claim against the storeowner is the only way to be made whole again after the accident.