Every Client Matters To Us

Is a store owner always liable after a slip and fall?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Premises Liability

When a customer slips and falls in a store, they may be interested in suing the owner of the store. They will claim that the owner is responsible because it’s their property. They will then try to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other such damages.

There are certainly situations in which store owners are liable, but people should not assume that they always are just because they own the property. The big question that the court will ask is this: “Did the store owner take reasonable steps to prevent the injury from taking place?”

The role of negligence

What the court wants to see is whether or not the store owner was negligent. If it is already known that they didn’t cause the injuries on purpose, then the owner is only liable if they were negligent in some way and allowed the dangerous condition to exist.

For example, maybe the store owner ignored serious safety issues like leaking pipes or broken treads on a stairway. Or perhaps the building was in such poor repair that the owner should have known about the hazards, but they were negligent in conducting inspections.

On the other hand, perhaps the store owner did everything they could to solve these safety issues with necessary repairs, they marked off any hazards with signs or caution tape and they warned customers not to go in certain areas. If a customer went there and slipped anyway, then the store owner may not be liable. The crux of the matter is negligence and whether or not the store owner took reasonable steps to prevent the injury.

When businesses are facing lawsuits, determining fault is incredibly important. Those involved must know what legal steps to take.