Slip and Fall Accidents in Department Stores

When a slip and fall accident occurs in a department store, depending on the severity of the injury sustained, the injured party may want to consult with an experienced and professional slip and fall accident attorney.

The accident attorney would want to know a few details about the accident such as, was the condition that caused the fall caused by the store owner or an employee? Was the accident caused by a condition that needed to be repaired and was known about by management and was not repaired? Or was the condition such that even though possibly unknown by management, should it have been discovered by regular means of maintaining property?

Slip and fall accident attorneys specialize in accidents occurring in these particular cases. They will try to determine whether or not the accident was due to negligence on the part of the store management. Even if the accident was directly caused by the negligence of an employee, the owner would be liable.

Of course, severity of injury could also make a strong impact on the outcome of the case. A trip and fall accident could result in anywhere from no injury at all to minor injury to injuries severe enough to consist of broken bones, spinal cord injury, severe head trauma, or even death.

As a department store is a place where there is usually very heavy foot traffic, the management and its employees need to really stay on top of keeping the store as safe as possible. If something is spilled in an aisle, for instance, care should be taken of it as soon as possible. If left for even a short time, it can cause someone to have a slip and fall accident. The responsibility of management is to be sure that when the floor is wet, proper precautionary measures are taken so customers know not to walk on that particular floor. “Wet floor” signs or cones must be placed in those locations.

If all precautionary measures were taken and a customer still has a slip and fall accident, the management may not be liable. For instance, if the cautionary cones or signs were placed in the wet floor zones, and a customer decides to walk there anyway, if he/she falls, then the store management would not be liable. There are other conditions too that may be on the side of management. For instance, if someone loses their balance and falls and there are no obstructions or wetness on the floor, the store management may not be liable in such a case.

It is the job of the slip and fall injury lawyer, to convince the judge of the store management’s liability when someone sues for damages due to a slip and fall accident. If the victim has not already done so, he/she would be required to see a doctor who would be able to diagnose the extent of injury. The lawyer would then obtain a hospital report and arrange a consultation with the victim.

Many times, with slip and fall accidents, it can be hard to determine whether or not the store management could be liable. In those cases, the plaintiff may be required to prove that the accident was caused by negligence of the store management. This could be quite difficult to do unless the negligence was so blatant that there could be no doubt of management’s liability, or if there were witnesses who are willing to come forward. Also, if there have already been complaints filed prior about ongoing negligence and unsafe conditions pertaining to that store, it would be easier to prove liability of the store.

In some cases, the slip and fall victim may not be a customer, but could be a store employee that was injured on the job. Depending on the situation, the employee may want to sue, which would most likely result in the loss of the job, or he/she could file a claim for workman’s compensation. If the employee was injured due to gross negligence on the part of management, and/or if the employee’s injuries were severe, he/she may wish to go ahead and file a lawsuit against the business.

With either, slip and fall attorneys are hired to try and make sure that these accident victims are compensated for their injuries. The extent of injuries sustained will make a difference on which type of lawsuit is filed. The injured can receive one bulk payment that would usually cover whatever hospital costs were sustained and payment for pain and suffering. Some injuries are severe enough to require long term or even lifetime care, so many will try to settle on the pain and suffering part of the lawsuit and try to keep the medical part open to cover future expenses.

The attorney can add a provision for future medical costs, but it unlikely that the entire cost of long term care would be fully covered.