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A Premises Liability Case Study Demonstrates the Nuances of These Cases

Apr 27, 2022 Brown Moore Premises Liability

A premises liability claim or a lawsuit is one you may file to recover compensation if you were injured on another person’s property. The law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to keep anyone (legally) on their properties safe.

This does not mean you are eligible for compensation merely because you were injured on someone else’s property. These cases can be somewhat complicated. The following example will demonstrate how.

An Example of a Premises Liability Case: You’re Injured at the Grocery Store

A basic premises liability case involving a slip and fall accident at a grocery store can help you better understand why these cases are not always as clear-cut as they may initially seem.

The owners and managers of businesses such as grocery stores need to ensure the chances of customers being injured as a result of slipping over spills or tripping over obstructions are minimized. They have a duty to actively monitor the premises for any hazards that can result in slips and falls or similar accidents. When such hazards are identified, they need to ensure they are addressed in a timely manner.

Of course, a grocery store’s owner or manager can’t be everywhere at once, nor can they be on the premises at all times. That’s why they are expected to train their employees to also be on the lookout for signs of hazards that can put the safety of customers at risk. If you are injured because an employee fails to do their job properly, the vast majority of the time, the worker won’t actually be the target of your claim or lawsuit. Their employer will still be considered the liable party.

Now, consider this scenario. A carton of milk falls to the floor at the grocery shop and spills. You turn the corner at some point after this occurs and slip on the spill. You sustain a concussion because your head strikes the floor during your fall. You now want to file a claim to collect from the grocery store’s insurance so that you are not left paying for your own medical bills. Do you have good odds of recovering the compensation you are seeking?

That depends. If you fell over the spill immediately after the milk carton fell to the ground, you likely won’t be able to secure compensation. An insurance company could reasonably argue no one on staff would have had time to notice the spill and clean it up before your accident occurred.

To show you are eligible for compensation, you need to provide evidence showing that a reasonable person would have noticed the spill and cleaned it up between the time when the milk carton fell to the ground and the time when you slipped over the spill. This may require securing video footage, gathering witness statements, and more.

That is by no means meant to discourage you from pursuing compensation if you believe you deserve it after being injured on someone else’s property. It’s meant to emphasize the importance of hiring qualified premises liability attorneys in these circumstances.

At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, we understand how important it is to present a strong case when filing a premises liability claim. If you have a valid case, we will work hard to ensure you are provided with effective representation. To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call us toll-free at 800-948-0577 to schedule your free consultation.