If you frequently shop at supermarkets or retail stores, there’s a good chance that at some point you have seen a potential slip-and-fall hazard. Most of these establishments are composed of shiny, tiled floors. When combined with other factors, these floors can create a recipe for disaster.
Slip and fall accidents on wholesale or retail property occur due to:
- Spills or item breakages on walking surfaces
- Ice or snow on outdoor walkways
- Water tracked in from outdoors
- Loose mats or rugs
- Poor visibility – making it difficult to identify slip and fall hazards
Most people injured in slip and fall accidents on business property never actually see the hazard. For this reason, they are often not prepared to take any measure to prevent an injury from happening. To this degree, slip and fall accidents often happen at full impact – resulting in broken bones, head injuries, spinal injuries, bruises, and lacerations.
Who is liable for a slip and fall hazard on business property?
Any business that is open to the public is legally obligated to clean up slip and fall hazards, or at least notify patrons by placing a sign over the affected area. Not all slip and fall hazards can be removed as quickly as we’d like to think, however.
When business owners, managers, and employees are unaware of the hazard and are thus unable to address it, you may not be eligible for a personal injury claim. For example, if a spill occurred (that was no fault of the business) and a customer was injured immediately after, the business may not be held accountable. The business could be held accountable if:
- The spill was present long enough that the business owner, manager, or an employee should have known about it
- The business owner, manager, or an employee knew about the spill, but failed to address it
Injured in a slip and fall? Here are the actions you should take.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on business property, it’s important that you conduct the following procedures in order to secure your claim:
- Take pictures of the slip and fall hazard
- Document the time, date, and location of the accident
- Notify the business owner or manager and request that they file an incident report
- If there were cameras within the business, request video footage
- Seek immediate medical attention
Lastly, in order to pursue damages after a slip and fall, it’s critical that you speak to an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Coplan + Crane to get started with your free case evaluation.