No one expects to suffer a broken bone or traumatic brain injury while picking up a few things from the grocery store, but this is the unexpected reality for many Los Angeles slip-and-fall accident victims. Store owners have a legal and moral obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their premises so that shoppers do not have to worry about hazardous conditions as they shop. Stores that fail to properly maintain their premises could face a lawsuit from shoppers who have suffered injuries while on their property.
What causes a slip-and-fall?
The circumstances surrounding a slip-and-fall can vary significantly from one situation to the next. However, there are certain hazardous conditions that come up time and time again in slip-and-fall cases. Some of these conditions include:
- Uneven carpeting or flooring
- Icy sidewalks or parking lot
- Wet floors caused by spills or ice/rain
- Improperly placed displays or other obstructions
- Poor lighting
- Broken stairs
Filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit
If you were a victim of a slip-and-fall, you will need to establish certain elements to recover damages for your injuries. Generally, you must show that:
- The defendant owned and/or maintained control of the store property.
- There was a dangerous condition on the property that caused your accident.
- The defendant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
- The defendant negligently failed to reasonably maintain the property or remedy the dangerous condition.
What if I was partially responsible for my own accident?
While the store has a responsibility to keep the store premises safe for customers, customers also have a responsibility to act responsibly. Failing to pay attention, texting while walking, or failing to tie your shoes could make you partially responsible for your own slip-and-fall. However, California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that you can recover damages even if you share some fault in your own accident. Your damages will be reduced depending on your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds you were 30 percent at-fault for your accident, you will only recover $70,000 of the $100,000 in damages awarded to you.
Slip-and-fall accidents at a retail store can result in serious injuries. Store owners should be held liable for the accidents that occur on their property. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.