People fall all the time, frequently due to mistakes that they make themselves. They have too much alcohol to drink and lose their sense of balance, or they forget to tie their shoes and trip. Slip-and-falls are a leading cause of death and injury.
However, sometimes someone slips and falls because of a business’s negligence or poor facility maintenance. When is a business ultimately responsible for the injuries of a person who slips and falls?
When the business was negligent in maintenance or cleaning
To hold a business financially responsible for injuries, you have to demonstrate that they contributed to the situation. Such a claim would require that you prove that someone slipping and falling was reasonably foreseeable and preventable.
A business can’t predict every random occurrence that could happen during business hours, but there are certain things that are perfectly predictable. Water tracked inside during a rainstorm could make people slip right by the entrance of the store. Dropped or spilled merchandise could also make people fall. Condensation from refrigeration units has the potential to make the floors unsafe.
Monitoring for these risks and addressing them, as well as putting up wet floor signs when appropriate are all ways that businesses can minimize their risk with liability for a slip-and-fall. However, if a business failed to address a spill and didn’t mark a section of a wet floor, people hurt at the business may have grounds for a premises liability claim.
Businesses should identify likely risks and be proactive about monitoring those issues, like rainwater puddles. Seeking compensation after a slip-and-fall may require that you prove the business failed to keep their space safe.