October 12, 2022
Is a Store Owner Liable For Your Slip and Fall Accident?
Several parties can be liable for your accident when you slip and fall into someone else’s store. One of the first parties you can think of is the store owner. After all, the store owner is the first person who should respond when there’s a hazard on the property.
But the store owner is not always automatically held liable in slip and fall accidents. How can you tell whether the store owner will be responsible for your accident? Here is some information from our premises liability attorneys at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC.
The store owner’s role in unsafe conditions
When it comes to unsafe conditions in the store, the store owner must respond in two ways:
- Immediately removing the hazard from the premises
- Warning all visitors to avoid the hazard
Store owners can’t pretend they were unaware of a certain hazard on the premises. Even if the hazard is a spill, the store owner must have had time to remove it and prevent an accident. When they fail to remove the hazard in a reasonable amount of time, that can hurt them in court.
Knowing about an unsafe condition
Store owners can also be held liable when they knowingly fail to warn visitors of a hazard. Even if store owners can’t remove a hazard immediately, the least they can do is warn visitors of the immediate harm they encounter. If store owners put up a sign next to the hazard, that can be considered a warning to visitors in some cases. When they decide not to warn visitors of the hazard, they can be held liable for your injuries.
How to prove the store owner’s liability
To prove the store owner’s liability in your slip and fall accident, you will have to prove the store owner’s negligence in your accident. The length of time that the store owner took to respond to the hazard can be used as an example of negligence.
Some factors can prove that the store owner didn’t respond fast enough to the hazards on the premises. Some of these factors include:
- How long the hazard existed on the premises
- Whether the store owner has a standard of routinely checking for hazards on the premises
- Whether there was a justifiable reason as to why the store owner created the hazard
- Other dangerous factors that contributed to your accident (poor lighting, uneven pavement, etc.)
- Whether the store owner had proactive measures that could have prevented the hazard
Other parties you can hold liable
In addition to the store owner, you might also hold the property owner (if different) liable for your slip and fall accident. Not every hazard on the premises is the fault of the store owner. If the property owner fails to ensure that a building is up to code, that is an act of negligence that can harm you.
Contact a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer today
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, P.C. today. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.