We’ve all heard it: “Clean up! Aisle Three….” But did you know there is actually a bit of legal significance behind the grocery store’s protocol following a broken jar of spaghetti sauce? In fact, failure to have a proper clean-up protocol in place exposes the store to liability in the event someone is injured in a slip and fall while shopping and, for this reason, stores will go to great lengths to warn shoppers and prevent against accidents.
The legal doctrine implicated in a slip-and-fall case is known as premises liability. California is actually one of the leading states to develop these laws and has provided other states with guidelines as to how personal injuries at a place of business should be handled. If you were recently hurt while shopping, the Law Office of Nelson C. Barry can help you recover against the retailer for the costs of your medical expenses and, if applicable, other losses and costs associated with the incident.
If you are injured while on property belonging to another person, the law places you in one of three categories: invitee, licensee or trespasser. The invitee is afforded the highest protection against injury and the term refers to any person who is on the property of another for a business purpose. This is the category within which you would fall if you were injured while shopping. Shopkeepers are required to inspect the premises for danger, warn customers of hazards and provide protection from spills on the floor. These rules are why grocery stores take immediate precautions as soon as a spill occurs and place large placards warning customers of a slippery floor
If you are injured while visiting another person for social or non-business reasons, you are considered a licensee. The property owner owes you a duty to warn you of obvious, highly dangerous issues occurring on a property, but is not generally required to inspect the property for all possible hazards. If you accidently wander onto another person’s property, you are considered a trespasser and are generally not afforded any protections against injury.
Recovering as a licensee
By working with a personal injury attorney like those of the Law Office of Nelson C. Barry, you can hopefully recover the costs of your injuries and any other expenses you incurred as a result of your fall. Personal injury actions involving slips and falls generally involve extensive discovery – including an investigation into the store’s policies with regard to safeguarding customers from hazards on the floor. One way to impart liability upon a commercial property owner like a grocery store is to show that the store has a safety protocol in place but failed to follow protocol in your particular incident.
Contact a personal injury attorney today
If you were recently injured while shopping in a store and would like to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable injury attorney, contact Nelson Barry today.