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A Retailer’s Responsibility for a Slip and Fall

By Renee Nordstrand on February 25, 2019

When you’re out shopping in downtown Santa Barbara, you not only expect great customer service and good buys, but to be in a safe environment. And yet, slips and falls in retail stores are common and can be downright dangerous.

Of course, customers are not the only ones at risk—delivery people, maintenance workers, and even employees are in peril when dangerous conditions are allowed. When they are harmed by a slip-and-fall, customers and employees alike have the right to hold the store owner accountable for their injuries.

Some Quick Slip-and-Fall Facts

Falls have been a staple for comedy actors and clowns for centuries. But when a fall happens in reality, there’s nothing funny about it. Consider this:

  • Falls account for more than 8 million emergency room visits. More than 1 million of those are from slip-and-falls.
  • 85% of workers’ compensation claims are attributed to slipping on slick floors.
  • 50% of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall.
  • 60% of fall-related deaths involve people over the age of 75 years old.
  • Approximately 1.8 million people over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall-related injuries.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that nine out of ten injuries suffered at retail stores are due to negligence. That includes slip-and-falls, so most incidents could have been avoided if a store owner or manager had just taken proper precautions.

From a legal perspective, proving that the store owner was negligent will involve showing the owner knew about a potential slip-and-fall risk but failed to resolve it in a timely manner. For example, a store owner is told about a broken tile on the floor, but does nothing to repair it. A week later, someone trips on the broken tile and breaks his wrist and lower leg. Since the owner knew about the risk and failed to repair it, she can be held liable for the customer’s broken bones.

When It’s Time for a Lawyer

Proving that a store or property owner was negligent and caused a customer’s fall is no small task. An experienced Santa Barbara trip-and-fall lawyer can investigate and find proof of what happened, argue your case in court, and show that someone else is responsible for your bills. After any accident in Southern California, call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation.

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