Our law firm helps victims who have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents. If you’ve been injured in such an accident, contact one of our Houston, Texas slip and fall injury attorneys today.
While slip and fall accidents may have a reputation for being fraudulent, real slip and fall cases often result in serious injuries. If you have been involved in such an accident while out shopping, you can file for a personal injury lawsuit against that particular store. Whether it’s a large chain such as Target or Walmart, or a grocery store such as Safeway, Kroger, or Albertsons, it is the responsibility of the business management to ensure that customers are safe while conducting business in their facilities. A customer has a legal right to file a personal injury claim against a business entity if he or she was injured as a result of slip and fall accident while at the premise. Here are some key factors to consider when filing a slip and fall lawsuit against common types of retail stores.
Responsibility of Maintaining Safe Premises
Businesses that serve the public are legally required to make sure that customers are safe while shopping at their facilities. However, in case of a slip and fall incident, the victim can file for a personal injury claim against that particular store where he or she was conducting business. The store will be held responsible for any injuries sustained since the accident could have been avoided by making sure that the property is safe for the public.
Slip and fall accidents can occur because of various reasons. Some common reasons are bad weather conditions such as ice or snow, which causes customers to slip and fall in the store’s entryway. Items that are poorly arranged can also fall where customers are passing. Another common reason is poor lighting, which causes poor visibility. A store can legally be held responsible if it neglected to take proper precautions to prevent these accidents.
Cases That Involve In-Store Injuries from Slip and Falls
Here are some examples of real, notable cases that involved customers who got injured while shopping at a retail store.
Costco Staff Negligence
A customer was involved in a slip and fall accident while shopping at a Costco store. The victim filed a personal injury claim against Costco, and a California jury ordered the store to pay the victim $400,000 for medical treatment. The customer slipped and fell after stepping in a puddle of soapy water. According to the customer, Costco employees had already noticed the spill but chose to ignore it.
The Costco “Pot Sticker” Case
A customer filed a personal injury lawsuit against Costco after she was involved in a slip and fall accident. The customer injured herself after slipping on snacks that were being passed out as free food samples. The woman claimed that Costco did not inspect the floor where customers were passing. However, the California jury did not agree with the woman since adequate floor inspection was conducted hourly.
Lawsuit in New York for an Injury in Florida
A customer living in New York was shopping at a Costco in Florida when she slipped and fell after stepping in liquid spilled from a drink and got seriously injured. The customer filed for a personal injury lawsuit based in New York. However, Costco tried to shift the case back to Florida since this is where the accident occurred. The judge in New York did not agree to Costco’s motions, and as a result, the case stayed in New York.
Hartner v. Home Depot
A woman sustained a knee injury while shopping at Home Depot. The woman was pushing a shopping cart when it hit a manhole cover that was covered by water. The woman sustained serious injuries after the cart tipped over and fell. However, Home Depot claimed that they were not responsible for the injuries sustained by the woman since the manhole cover could clearly be seen, and it was obvious. The jury in Pennsylvania disagreed with Home Depot and concluded that they were 95% to blame for the accident. Home Depot was ordered to pay the woman $950,000 for her injuries.
“Deleted Evidence” Home Depot Case
A woman in Pennsylvania sued Home Depot after she slipped on an unknown substance. To support her case, the woman asked Home Depot to produce the footage from the surveillance camera at the time of the accident. However, Home Depot refused to comply with this demand and claimed that the footage had already been deleted. Even though the footage was not recovered, the court ruled in favor of the woman, and Home Depot was ordered to pay $44,383.61 in damages.
Forklift Accident Caused by Lowes Employee
A customer shopping at Lowe’s Home and Garden Center was seriously injured after one of the staff members operating a forklift ended up running into them from behind, knocking them down. The customer suffered serious injuries, and the store was ordered to pay $600,000.
A customer in Broadview, Illinois was shopping at Walgreens when he slipped and fell after stepping in an unknown liquid. The man claimed that the store was responsible for the accident because the liquid had not been wiped up by the employees. However, the store denied this claim, stating that the man slipped as a result of walking in the snow. The plaintiff lost the case even after making an appeal.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc v. Lanier
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc v. Lanier is a case that caused a significant shift in how slip and fall cases are handled. According to the jury in Kentucky, the plaintiff is required to prove that she or he sustained serious injuries after tripping on a foreign object that was left on the floor. If the plaintiff has clear evidence, then Wal-Mart could be held liable for injuries sustained by the victim.
The court explained that retail giants such as Wal-Mart encourage a self-service shopping method. A photograph of where the victim had fallen at Wal-Mart aisle was also presented in court. The photo clearly showed that the store arranges its items in a manner that attracts customer’s attention, making it difficult to notice any hazards that may be found on the floor.
Get in Touch With an Attorney That Handles Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
It is common for people to get injuries from slip and fall accidents. Usually the injuries are minor, but in some cases they are very serious. It doesn’t matter where the accident occurred, what is important is getting fair compensation, especially if you are not to blame for the slip and fall accident.
You can also get in touch with an attorney about slip and fall cases if you are not sure of whether the store is responsible for the accident. An experienced attorney will review your case and give you legal advice on what you need to do. Contact our personal injury law firm in Houston, Texas today, and we will help you with your case.