In most grocery store slip and fall cases, the reason someone slips and falls is because the grocery store failed to mop up the floor. This is most common by the coolers and freezers. Many times a customer will spill milk, water, ice, or some other substance, fail to notify the store, and another customer will come along, with their attention directed to an eye-level shelf, and slip and fall on the spilled substance, having never seen the substance that was left on the floor. Grocery stores have a duty to check the store’s floors to make sure they are free of spilled substances that can cause people to slip and fall.
In a grocery store trip and fall case, you have to prove that the owner the grocery store or convenience store knew or reasonably should have known that the floor was slippery to be the point of being dangerous. This may be very obvious or it may be difficult to prove.
A lawyer can help you achieve the desired outcome in a case like this by doing any number of things, such as obtaining surveillance footage to show when the substance or content that you slipped and fell on was spilled. In these kinds of cases, timing is very important. If you slipped and fell on a substance that was only on the floor for a very short period of time, then the grocery store will likely prevail on the argument that it could not have reasonably have known to clean up the spill, assuming the spill did not occur within the sight of the store’s employees or management.
EXCEPTIONS TO LIABILITY
If you have been injured inside a grocery store, you rightfully deserve to be compensated if it can be proven that the city or business did not legally and properly maintain their store in a manner that was safe for all patrons. However, this is not to say prevailing on your claim will be easy.
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Statistically, these cases are difficult to win. Oftentimes the defense for the store will be as simple as: you should have watched where you were going. This of course may not be true as it may have been impossible not to slip given the condition of the store, but it’s a common defense that has, in many instances, been successful in court.
Additional arguments advanced by the defense are:
- You knew ahead of time about the danger that led you to be hurt
- The danger was considered “open and obvious,” meaning anyone could see it
- The owner of the property or business where you were either didn’t know or reasonably could not have known about the danger that hurt you
- You caused your injury by not using the premises correctly