When you make a quick stop for a gallon of milk or to make a withdrawal at the bank, you expect to get in, get out and get on with your day. Most people running errands in public will do so with no issue, but occasionally, a trip to the store leads to significant problems.
If someone dropped a gallon of milk in the dairy aisle and the store didn’t clean it up, you can fall and hurt your head. You could easily fall at a bank and break an arm if someone else tracked water in on their shoes or dropped papers on the floor.
When you fall unexpectedly, you can suffer significant injuries. A traumatic brain injury might require hospitalization. Even a broken bone could leave you unable to go to work for several weeks. When is the business where you got hurt responsible for your slip-and-fall injuries?
When negligence played a role
Every company opens itself up to liability when it allows people to enter the facilities. Businesses protect themselves by taking on liability insurance policies and by maintaining their facilities. Adequate staffing, appropriate cleanliness and investments in the building and the machinery within it can drastically reduce the likelihood of someone getting hurt on the premises.
Unfortunately, many of the business decisions that reduce a company’s risk will directly increase its operating costs. Companies may forego making important repairs to their machinery or their building because of the expense involved. They may also keep so few people on staff that they can’t address spills on the floor and help people at the cash register.
When you can show that there was clearly negligence that contributed to your injury, the business may have some responsibility for your losses.
Will a premises liability claim always hurt the company?
Especially if the business where you got hurt is a local company, you may worry that reporting your injury or trying to get compensation could damage the business. In general, companies carry insurance that will protect them from liability if someone gets hurt on their premises.
In cases where they don’t have insurance or where the situation falls outside the scope of coverage, then the person who got hurt in the slip-and-fall may have no choice but to take civil action against the business itself.
Understanding when a business is responsible for your slip and fall can help you take the right steps in a premises liability situation.