Across the country, millions of Americans set foot on a store or mall’s premises with the intention of spending their money on both necessary and luxury goods. For many, this experience is actually fun and can be a way to destress as they hunt for something that will bring them pleasure. The last thing any visitor expects is that a hazard on the property will cause them to sustain an injury that may alter the way they live their life.
Stores & Malls Owe Visitors A Duty
It doesn’t matter what their product is, every single store or mall is obligated under premises liability laws to provide and maintain a reasonably safe environment for anyone who happens to set foot on the property. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for injuries that occur due to their negligence.
Forms Of Negligence That Result In A Slip & Fall Accident
There are several common forms of negligence that cause patrons to land painfully on the ground. These include:
Failure To Remove Snow & Ice
Although it’s true that no one can control Mother Nature, property owners can be expected to clear snow and ice from the areas on their property where people are expected to set foot in a timely manner. In fact, New York has strict rules for the amount of time given to remove snow and ice. Those rules mean that:
- If snow stops falling between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:49 pm, the property must be cleared within four hours.
- If snow stops falling between 5:00 pm and 8:59 pm, the snow must be removed within fourteen hours.
- If the snow stops falling between 9:00 pm and 6:59 am, removal must occur by 11:00 am of the next day.
If the owner, manager, or company hired to complete the job fail to do so within these time limits, they can be held responsible for any accidents that occur as a result.
Sidewalks must be kept in good repair because if the concrete breaks or shifts, it can cause someone’s foot to catch on an unexpectedly uneven surface and the surface they land on isn’t often soft.
Potholes don’t just pop tires and damage cars, they hurt patrons who are walking through parking lots as well. It doesn’t take much time or money to repair a pothole, but it does take a lot of time to heal injuries and medical bills are expensive.
Spilled Food & Drink
Any business that sells food and drink needs to constantly be on the lookout for spills which create a slick floor.
Poorly Secured Flooring
Whether it’s loose carpeting or an unsecured floor board, it doesn’t take much for a person to lose their balance.
Broken Steps & Handrails
Staircases are common and if the step gives way or if the handrail supporting someone gives out, it only takes seconds to tumble all the way down a set of stairs.
Although a “tumble” or “simple fall” might not seem like a big deal, the fact is that even a fall from just a standing position can cause serious injuries that can halt a career in its tracks or prevent the victim from being able to enjoy activities they previously participated in.
Lawsuits Provide Compensation For All Losses
There aren’t many Americans who are financially stable enough to pay for thousands of dollars in medical bills while dealing with the loss of days, weeks, months or even years of lost wages and even if they are capable of handling this financial blow, it’s unfair to expect that of them if someone else’s negligence caused their injury.
This is why the law provides these victims with the opportunity to recover compensation through personal injury lawsuits.
Through careful investigation, the collection of evidence, and aggressive fighting for a plaintiff’s rights, an experienced slip and fall lawyer can help their client obtain full compensation for not only medical expenses and lost wages, but also for non-monetary losses like physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
Is It Better To Settle Or Go To Court?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question, each client needs to decide what is best for their personal situation. However, you can be sure that our team will always negotiate the highest possible settlement on your behalf or if you choose to take the matter to court, spend as much time as necessary preparing you for the experience.
How Much Do Slip & Fall Victims Usually Get?
There is no real average when it comes to slip and fall cases because no two cases are exactly alike, just like no two clients are exactly alike. Compensation is based off of a victim’s actual losses so once the case has been fully reviewed, an estimate can be created.