Can You Sue if You Trip and Fall at a Store?

If you fall at a store, you may have a claim for a lawsuit, but it depends on the condition and the result. Every lawsuit truly has to start with whether or not there was negligence and the role you played in that.

How much time do you have to sue?

You will typically have to file your lawsuit within two years unless the store or property is owned or managed by a government entity. But this can be different depending on your case. It is better to talk to a personal injury attorney immediately so you can take the proper steps in case you decide to sue down the road, otherwise, you could miss your window to be properly compensated for your injuries.

Who can you sue?

It does need to be proven that the business was negligent and that caused your injuries, before a lawsuit can be determined. An unsafe condition must have existed and the store must have known or through reasonable steps should have known about it.

Once that is established, then it is a matter of looking at who owns the store and/or the property to determine who you may have a claim against. Building structural issues that caused your injury usually hold the owner to be liable, but if it was due to a building tenant, then they are more likely liable.

What do you need to know for your case?

Because slip and fall cases require awareness on the part of both parties, it will be important to show that you were indeed injured due to the business negligence. You may be asked by your personal injury lawyer:

Why was the floor slippery? What made you slip?

This includes noting what substance was present that you slipped on, such as snow, water or ice, oil, food, etc. Without determining what you slipped on, you will likely not be able to prove negligence.

What caused you to trip? How long had the condition been that way?

Negligence is demonstrated when the store has notice of a dangerous condition. If something unsafe happened and you were immediately injured, that is different than if a dangerous condition existed for an extended period of time. Understanding how long the unsafe condition was present will matter in your case.

Additionally, if an unsafe situation was present, was there adequate warnings about the danger? For example, a construction site is dangerous by nature, so danger signs and warnings are posted, along with protective measures that a reasonable person would take heed of. If these exist, it doesn’t automatically mean there wasn’t negligence, but it does go in their favor.

The best advice is that if you have tripped, slipped or fallen at a store, business or restaurant, you get medical attention as needed and contact a personal injury lawyer who can offer suggestions for your next steps. Together you can determine if your injuries were due to someone else’s negligence and if you are entitled to a lawsuit to restore damages, emotionally and physically that you endured.