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Who is liable after a slip-and-fall at a store?

The last thing someone expects when they stop at the store is to end up injured and in need of medical attention. The average person probably makes multiple trips to different retail establishments every week. They pick up groceries, necessities for work and additions to their wardrobe.

Any business open to the public should make concerted efforts to maintain safe facilities so that visitors don’t end up injured while shopping. Is a business automatically responsible if someone gets hurt in a slip-and-fall while shopping?

Premises liability is not automatic

Premises liability or legal and financial responsibility for an incident that occurs on private property requires a degree of fault. Premises liability lawsuits and insurance claims therefore require an indication that the business or landlord facing the allegations is somehow to blame for the incident or someone got hurt.

Negligence is often the basis for premises liability lawsuits and insurance claims. Specifically, people injured in public places may try to prove that the business was negligent in maintaining its facilities. Such negligence could come in a number of different forms.

Putting off repairs might lead to leaks and other issues that cause people to slip and then fall. Keeping inadequate workers on staff might mean that spills and other easily-resolved issues go unaddressed for hours or the majority of a shift. Failing to invest in facility maintenance and upkeep, such as flooring repairs, could also contribute to someone slipping and falling at a business.

So long as a reasonable person would agree that the business failed to do something that was necessary for safety, someone hurt at a store may have grounds for a negligence-based premises liability claim. Of course, the person injured also has to have verifiable losses related to the incident.

If a slip-and-fall resulted in injuries, people may have lost wages and medical bills to address. The premises liability coverage for a business may be enough to reimburse someone for their losses, but it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in some cases to obtain an appropriate amount of financial compensation after a slip and fall at a business.

Understanding when a company might be liable for slip-and-fall injuries can help people take the right steps after getting hurt while shopping. Those who understand the basics of personal injury claims may feel more confident about seeking compensation.