The very nature of a retail business indicates they will be set up to receive visitors. Customers, vendors, and employees will be entering and exiting the store continually.
While no business can expect to never have a danger on their property, the store owner, or management are expected and legally required to take every effort to keep people safe.
If the store sells food, frozen items, perfumes, creams, medications, and/or cosmetics, great measures should be in effect to keep the floors free of spills and damaged bottles and containers.
As long as there are customers, there are going to be things put out of place. It is important that the management takes precautions.
This includes cleaning up spills quickly and warning customers and employees of danger until the spills are dry.
However, if the spill is not addressed quickly, and a customer is not warned of the danger, and they are injured because of it, they are usually entitled to compensation.
Retail stores use a lot of equipment. While you only see the beauty of the displays, there are lighted cabinets, display cases, refrigeration units, freezers, and other electronics. Anywhere there is equipment that generates cooling, there is a potential for a refrigeration or condensation leak.
Retail stores should have a regular inspection policy that ensures someone walks the area daily to look for hazards. They should also have a leak and damage procedure in place to tell the staff exactly what should happen when a hazard is identified. Failure to have these procedures in place puts customers and employees at risk.
Every square inch of a retail store is a money-making area. No space is wasted. Merchandise is often stored high on shelves and low, under counters. Putting the merchandise away or retrieving it can be dangerous. Many people are hurt because the merchandise was not put away properly and it fell upon them.
We cannot control the weather. But a property owner is responsible for ensuring walkways are passable, not slippery, and in good repair. If there is a loose panel or a malfunctioning door, it can cause injury to people as they come in or leave the store.
Walkways and parking spaces should be in good repair. Walkways should be well lit, so people will not fall when walking to and from the property.
What To Do If You Are Hurt
Falling in a retail store does not equate to a check every time. But, if the property owner was negligent or careless and it resulted in an injury, you are entitled to compensation.
The law requires the liable party to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses.
Here is what to do if you are injured:
● Seek medical attention
● File a police report and an injury report with the store
● Take photographs of the area
● Collect the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident
● Contact a personal injury attorney
● Do not make a statement to the store, employees, or the insurance company for the store.
● Do not sign any paperwork
● Do not accept payment
Insurance companies will try to push you into taking a settlement offer before you even know the extent of your injuries. Doing this will let them off the hook.
If you find that your injury will never fully heal or if it will lead to other problems, they will not have to pay. Let your Coeur d’Alene premises liability attorney handle all the details.