Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time of year; but the holiday rush creates crowded and sometimes chaotic shopping conditions. Moreover, store workers may be overworked or too understaffed to stay on top of hazards that arise. Winter weather brings slippery sidewalks and parking lots as shoppers try to get to their destinations.
Some common causes of slip and falls in stores include:
- torn carpeting
- uneven or broken tiles
- spilled drink or food
- unfinished construction
- overwaxed or freshly cleaned floors
- extension cords or wiring
- inadequate lighting
- broken or missing steps
- snow and ice on sidewalks outside the store
- inadequate signage for hazards such as wet floors
At first, a slip and fall injury may seem minor, but some sprains and strains can leave lasting damage. If a fall causes a victim to land on his or her back or head, the injuries could be catastrophic. Concussions and other head and neck injuries, or back injuries from slip and falls can all require extensive medical treatment and recovery periods that result in missed work.
Liability in a Slip and Fall in Store
Every property owner has a duty of care to maintain their property and keep it safe and free of foreseeable hazards. Despite this, a slip and fall in a store does not always mean the owner is responsible. A successful premises liability claim must show that there was a hazard that the owner knew about or should have known about, yet chose to neglect his or her duty instead of fixing it or properly warning the public about its existence. Furthermore, the hazard must have caused the accident and any injuries must be a direct result of the slip and fall.
Slip and falls can be difficult to prove because the conditions that caused the fall may not stay the same. Snow and ice can melt, and a spilled drink can be cleaned up. Therefore, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible when the accident happens. Take pictures of the scene where the accident took place and of any resulting injuries. Ask witnesses for a written account of what they saw and their contact information. Injured victims should make detailed notes of what happened, because later it may be hard to remember everything clearly. It is also important to see a medical professional to document the cause and nature of the injuries.
Depending on the seriousness of the injuries, slip and fall victims are advised to seek the counsel of an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can help to determine if there is a valid premises liability claim. In Delaware, the statute of limitations is two years from the date when the injury occurred. However, the sooner the legal process is started, the better the victim’s chances are of a successful resolution.
Delaware Slip and Fall Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Pursue Premises Liability Claims for Those Injured in a Retail Store Fall
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, a Delaware slip and fall lawyer from Rhoades & Morrow can answer any questions you might have and help you seek compensation for your injuries. We will provide personalized representation and review your case free of charge so call (302) 427-9500 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment. From our offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, we represent clients throughout the state of Delaware.