What You Need to Know About Slip-and-Fall Claims

While shopping at the local mall, Jackie tripped over some cords that a shop owner had stretched across an aisle. She landed on a glass display case, which broke. Her injuries included facial lacerations, deep cuts to her hands and arms, and a broken ankle. As she lay in the hospital waiting for a plastic surgeon to arrive, Jackie thought about how unfair it was that this had happened to her. Jackie doesn’t know it yet, but she might become one of the many slip-and-fall claims filed every year.

How Slip-and-Fall Claims Start

Some of the following hazards commonly lead to slip-and-fall injuries:

  • Spilled liquids left on the floor, including oil, solvents, cleaning fluids, water, and soap.
  • Trip hazards like power cords, rugs and mats, and boxes.
  • Low lighting caused by the failure of existing light fixtures or failure to install appropriate lighting.
  • Dropped items and inappropriately located boxes, tools, and other objects.
  • Flawed flooring, with potholes, rough patches, defective staircases, and unmarked workspaces.

People fall all the time, but their accidents might not qualify them as slip-and-fall claims.

The Duty to Provide Safe Premises Matters

When you enter a public space, you expect it to be safe. If the area is dangerous, who is at fault?

Premises liability cases involve times when an individual is injured because the owner was negligent in some way. For example, a grocery store owner who fails to fix a freezer unit that leaks oil and water onto the floor could be held liable if someone is injured on the slippery floor. People injured like this could file slip-and-fall claims against the owner. This liability also extends to the owner’s employees and agents. An individual or company that rents or leases space could be at fault, too.

Proving a Slip-and-Fall Claim

Being injured is not enough to prove your claim. Typically, you will need to show that the owner knew about the problem. For example, Jackie was injured when she tripped on some cords that the owner’s employees had placed across the aisle. The owner knew or should have known about the cords.

In Jackie’s case, the owner knew about the hazardous cords. However, he or she failed to take any steps to make the space safe for the general public. Stores generally want foot traffic, and the owner had no reason for not fixing the potential slip-and-fall hazard.

It’s also crucial to prove that a reasonable person would have fixed the hazardous situation. Generally, a reasonable person would be concerned about something like a slippery floor or object blocking a pathway or aisle.

In Jackie’s case, her accident would not have happened had the store owner cleared the aisle of obstructions. It would be in her best interests to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents Are Common. We Can Help.

The attorneys at Powell Law are distinguished personal injury attorneys who carry on a 115-year tradition of providing thoughtful, effective representation protecting and asserting the rights of Pennsylvanians living in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding communities. Our decades of experience make us the clear and obvious choice for representation in personal injury cases in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777.

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