Grocery Store Liability Lawyers
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Can a Grocery Store Be Liable for a Customer's Injury?
Grocery stores and supermarkets sell food and other products to customers. Aside from selling illness causing food, a grocery can be liable for personal injuries that occur on its premises. A grocery store may be held liable for an injury to a customer due to an unsafe condition that existed on the property if the grocery store created the unsafe condition or failed to fix an unsafe condition that they knew or should have been aware of.
What Duties Does a Grocery Store Owner Have?
A grocery store owner must exercise reasonable care to see that the store and the outside of the store are reasonably safe. The owner must warn visitors of hidden dangers to protect customers from injury. An owner must guard against hazardous conditions if he has reason to believe they cause injuries. If he does not, he is negligent. Some possible injuries that may occur at a store include:
- Injuries from slipping and falling on liquids on the floor.
- Injuries from goods that fall off displays.
- Injuries from tripping over displays or other objects in the aisles.
- Injuries from accidents with shopping carts.
What Is the Duty to Maintain Safe Premises?
Like all kinds of businesses that open themselves to the public, grocery stores have a legal obligation and duty to maintain a reasonably safe premises to protect their customers. Injuries and accidents that happen in department stores, grocery stores, or even a local mom and pop store, the business may be held liable for the injury if it can be shown that the injury occured due to an unsafe condition on the property.
What Factors Help Show the Store was Negligent?
The following may suggest the store was negligent:
- The store owner knew, or should he have known, about the dangerous condition.
- It was a recurring dangerous condition.
- The store owner did not regularly inspect the store for dangers.
- There was inadequate cleanup performed.
- There was a long time between the creation of the hazard and the accident.
- There is evidence that the substance that caused the fall was on the floor for a long time, such as being dried, sticky, full of shopping cart tracks, and so on.
- There is evidence that employees should have heard a bottle breaking or seen a different colored liquid on the floor.
How Can I Hold a Grocery Store Liable?
A grocery store will be liable for unsafe and dangerous conditions that existed in the premises which caused injury under few theories. The store owner may be liable if they created the dangerous and unsafe condition, such as waxed the floor and made it too slippery. The owner may also be held liable for unsafe conditions even if they did no create the condition, but failed to take steps to remedy a dangerous and unsafe condition.
If the store owner did not create the unsafe condition, the injured person must show that the store owner knew or should have known that the unsafe condition existed. For example, the injured person must show some evidence that a spill or unsafe condition existed for a long period of time for the store to become aware of it's presence and have an opportunity to clean it up and prevent an accident.
What Defense Does the Store Have?
The grocery store may not be liable for damages if:
- There was no dangerous condition at the time of the injury.
- The store had no prior knowledge, or could not have known, about the dangerous condition.
- The store took all reasonable steps necessary to protect the customer.
- The condition was so obvious that everyone should know to avoid it.
- The danger created by the store did not cause the customer's injury.
- The injury occurred in a place where customers are not allowed.
- The customer was negligent or assumed a risk.
Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Have Been Injured at a Grocery Store?
If you have been hurt or injured during a visit to a grocery store and want to assess the viability of your claim, the advice of a personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your injury and recover damages.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 04-15-2015 10:02 AM PDT
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