Chain stores, and malls especially ones that do a good business, can be dangerous places to walk in.
That’s because more customers equals more chances of a bottle, for example, being dropped or knocked over, which equals more spills on the floor. With the aisles full of people and employees making sure that they are served, liquids on the floor can take hours to be cleaned up, and in that time a parade of people could possibly slip and fall.
If you have slipped and fallen in a chain store, you do not want to face the lawyer for that chain. It would be far better for you to contact a slip and fall attorney to prepare your case for legal action. A good slip and fall lawyer can get you the compensation that you deserve for past and future medical bills, as well as possible lost time at work (and wages) and pain and suffering.
Slip and falls in public places such as chain stores and malls are the leading cause of premise liability injuries.
These accidents also continue to be a major issue for store managers. They have become a bigger and bigger headache for chain stores, partly because our population is aging and older customers slip and fall at a much higher rate than young ones. It doesn’t take much to throw an elderly person off balance; even the slightest amount of residue on a newly cleaned floor in a chain store can spell trouble for a mature shopper.
Slip and fall injuries are the primary source of general liability claims with companies that insure commercial properties, with the average claim calling for a $5,000 payout for those who didn’t even require medical attention. That doesn’t mean that you will get the compensation you deserve simply because you slipped and fell in a chain store that makes a healthy profit. Actually, the contrary is true because chain stores can afford a strong team of lawyers that will do all it can to prove that your slip was your fault.
Slip and fall injuries have drained chain store coffers so much that frequent discussion is held about the best possible flooring to put in new stores to reduce the risk of customers slipping. Many chain stores have introduced high-traction flooring into their new properties to slow the number of slip and fall lawsuits against them. Chain stores have also become more careful about the cleaning products that they use on their floors, as well as the placement and maintenance of mats at store entrances to keep outside slippery elements away from their aisles.
Chainstores and Premises Liability
Chain stores, no matter how busy or struggling, all fall under the same premises liability laws that any business do. Basically, the store is required to prove that it was not negligent in allowing a dangerous condition that caused a slip and fall.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will look at store records, cleaning notes, surveillance video and eyewitness testimony to help you build the case that the store manager should have known about the dangerous floor and taken actions that any reasonable person would have in the situation.
Slip and fall law has expanded a bit in recent years as more courts have taken a “mode of operation approach,” which can hold a store liable for dangerous conditions that result simply out of its normal routine.
For instance, an elderly woman won a sizeable settlement after slipping on rice in a store and breaking her knee. Her lawyers were able to prove that stacking the rice on a metal shelf created a dangerous set-up for the rice to spill out of its bags. The woman won $55,000 in compensation, which went to pay for her medical bills and pain and suffering.
Similar cases have sprung up elsewhere as skilled slip and fall attorneys have proven that some routines at chain stores provide a scenario for dangerous conditions to easily spring up and result in a slip and fall. Chain stores have reacted by urging employees to be extremely careful when they stock shelves with a number of items that could fall on the floor when packaging materials are punctured, creating slippery conditions for shoppers.
If you have slipped and fallen in a chain store, don’t simply brush off the accident as your own fault due to your lack of grace. No, there is actually a high probability that your slip resulted from a set of conditions that the chain store should have been aware of and corrected to ensure good traction for all of its customers.
A competent slip and fall lawyer will battle for you to get compensation that covers not only your previous medical bills, but also your future bills, especially if rehabilitation, physical therapy and/or surgeries are required. You also need to be compensated for lost work time that resulted from a slipped disc or fractured ankle. Pain and suffering is also a very relevant issue in slip and fall cases, as some people are never quite the same after hitting their head and fracturing a skull, for instance.
Let an experienced slip and fall lawyer take on the major stores for you as you focus on simply getting back to normal, or close to it, after a slip and fall injury. Call our offices today at 215 735 4800.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Malls
Many slip and fall accidents occur in malls as well. They can often be dangerous to walk in because of the higher likelihood that someone will spill something or drop a product, and chain store staff are usually busy with customers and often do not clean up the spill or warn customers of the hazard promptly.
Slip and fall accidents in malls are common and you can often take legal action against them, but you do not want to face the store’s powerful lawyers on your own. Instead, you need to get in touch with a slip and fall lawyer in the Philadelphia area as soon as possible to assist you with your case. Your lawyer will make sure that you receive the full settlement you deserve to cover your medical bills, any wages you lost by not being able to work, and your pain and suffering as well.
In terms of premises liability injuries, slip and falls in public locations like chain stores are the most common. Especially as the population ages and becomes more prone to slipping and falling, mall owners are becoming more and more aware of the problems that slip and fall accidents can cause for them and for the accident victims. In fact, slip and fall accidents constitute the main source of all general liability claims against companies insuring commercial properties. An average claim pays out around $5000, and that is for accidents that did not actually result in any injuries.
But even with this in mind, know that without a lawyer, it can be very difficult to get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your slip and fall accident, because the company’s lawyers and insurance is going to fight you every step of the way by claiming that the fall was your fault. In fact, many malls have begun to install safer flooring with less traction as a way to prevent the number of claims for slip and fall cases against them. They are also using different cleaning products that are less likely to be slippery.
Their lawyers will use these as examples to prove that the fall was your fault, not the fault of the company.
Regardless, malls, like all public places, fall under the laws that govern premises liability, or the responsibility of the owner of a public place to keep that place safe. They have to prove that they were not negligent in maintaining a safe environment, or they could be held responsible for any accidents that occur on their property.
An experienced slip and fall attorney will know where to look to access documents and records that prove that a store owner was behaving negligently, such as cleaning records or notes, video surveillance, and witness statements to provide solid evidence that the fall was not your fault and that the owner should have taken reasonable measures to prevent the fall from happening if they were aware of the hazard.
There is a fairly new element to laws governing slip and fall cases that courts have been using, called the “mode of operation” approach. This simply means that a store can be held responsible for hazardous conditions that occur because of a normal but potentially unsafe routine that the store follows. One example is of an older woman who fell in a grocery store when she slipped on some rice that had spilled out of a bag. Her lawyers proved that the way the bags were stacked on the shelf made it more likely that the rice would spill out of the bag, and she won a $55,000 settlement to cover her medical costs and her pain and suffering from the accident.
These kinds of cases have in many cases changed the way that these stores operate on a daily basis. Employees are told to not stock shelves too heavily and to make sure that the packaging is in good shape in an effort to keep the store from having too many incidents of mode of operation slip and fall cases. However, these kinds of cases do still occur, and just because the store has taken some measures to provide a safer environment does not mean that they are not responsible for your slip and fall.
Don’t assume that your fall was the result of you simply being clumsy or careless. It is rare that someone will simply lose their footing without some kind of cause for the slip, whether it is a spill or remnants of cleaning products. If you have slipped and fallen in a chain store, call one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers.
They will assist you in getting the settlement you deserve as an accident victim to help cover your medical bills, which can be extremely expensive and could last for a while, especially if you have to do physical therapy or undergo surgery. The settlement can also help cover any wages you lost by not being able to work. Make sure you get the full compensation you deserve by calling one of our attorneys today.
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If you’ve fallen and been injured in a store, mall or any public place, you may have the basis for a lawsuit.
Success in slip and fall personal injury lawsuits is not just about proving negligence, but also about determining liability, because they aren’t always the same.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents ?
The most common type of accident in stores and other public places is a person slipping and falling because of wet floors, loose floorboards or tiles, or damaged floor surfaces. Sometimes the cause is some obstruction left by contractors, broken or cracked sidewalks, or parking lot potholes. Poorly maintained and inadequately lighted stairways also contribute to thousands of falls every year.
If you believe the negligence of another caused your fall — usually the property owner — then you may have a case to file a personal injury lawsuit by engaging a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. While an accident can happen in almost any location, not every situation suggests legal liability.
What is Negligence and Liability ?
Under Pennsylvania state law, property owners have a responsibility to maintain those premises in a safe condition. To prove negligence, you — and your attorney — must prove that they failed to maintain the premises, or they failed to take action over hazards they knew about or should have known about.
To illustrate, say you are shopping in your local supermarket and you fall and injure your ankle after slipping in a puddle on the floor. There was no warning sign or barrier. In this example, you would have a legitimate claim against the premises owner/operator, due to the failure to remove the hazard or to put up warning signs or barriers to keep the public safe.
What is Comparative Negligence ?
Pennsylvania has adopted a modified comparative negligence rule that says that an individual can seek damages even if he/she had some fault in the accident. For example, if someone trips and falls on unsafe pavement, but was texting at the time, both parties are liable? But who is more liable?
In Pennsylvania law, you can recover damages even if you are partially responsible for the accident that injured you. However, the law states that a person seeking damages can’t be more than 50% at fault.
Also, the judge or jury that hears your case will only determine your comparative negligence after it determines whether the defendant was negligent. If it is determined that the defendant was not negligent, then the case is over.
If, however, the defendant is found negligent, the judge or jury then determines if you, the plaintiff, are also negligent. They compare the fault of both parties and assign a percentage of fault to each party.
For example, the jury might find that the plaintiff’s injuries were 80% the result of the defendant’s negligence, but 20% the plaintiff’s responsibility. These percentages are then used to determine damages. If damages are accessed at $100,000, the plaintiff is entitled to receive $80,000.
The Statutes of Limitations in Slip trip and Fall Cases
It takes time to gather evidence, conduct interviews, and secure expert testimony, if necessary. Philly Injury Law, are ready to explore options with you and get to work. If the out-of-court settlement process is unsatisfactory, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury case in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident.
Let us help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact our offices at (215) 735-4800 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Philadelphia slip and fall attorney at our law firm. Our law firm works on a contingency basis so you will never have to pay a fee unless we win your case.