Slip and fall injuries are often covered under what is known as premises liability cases. These injuries often occur at a place of business, but the incidents can also occur just about anywhere from a government building, to a residential address. Premises liability cases, refer to the legal responsibility that the owner and/or occupant of a certain premise has towards the people or customers who attend or visit that property. However, liability in these matters is not guaranteed, in fact, often times liability can be quite difficult to prove. Responsibility does not automatically become imposed. Instead, it must be proven that the slip and fall incident was caused by an owner who created, or allowed a defective or dangerous condition to exist.
Premises liability laws vary from one state to another. However, most basic circumstances are the same regardless of where in the country the slip and fall accident occurs. It is often interesting to focus on the statutes that exist in California as the laws in California usually become nationally prevailing laws. In many cases, an injured party may have fallen at their local or national grocery store due to a spill and/or substance found on the ground, as the photo above shows. However, that spill in and of itself is not enough to assume liability against the store owner or its employees. The store is allowed time to be alerted to a spill, and they are allowed an opportunity to address that spill before they can be found liable for a fall resulting from that spill.
In most major stores you will find a “sweep schedule” or an “inspection schedule”, they do this in order to monitor their floors and they will tell you that they do this in order to protect their customers. But, the truth is they also do this to protect themselves from potential lawsuits and potential liability in the event a spill leads to an injury. However, in most states they are allowed reasonable time to address the issue. But, often times the issue is overlooked, or not handled in that reasonable window of time, which may lead to a fall. In these instances you need to gather as much as evidence as possible and contact an attorney for further assistance. Stores have video surveillance that needs to be stored and protected, as this will show when the area was last inspected that area prior to a fall. Additionally, this footage may also show the actual incident itself, which can become incredibly important should the case go to trial.