Retail stores are required to take certain precautions when it comes to their customers. The property owner is responsible for a customer's safety when it comes to their premises. If you are inured on the premises of a retail store, you may find it prudent to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. A retail store owner is required to inform any visitors to their property about any risk of injury they may have while there. The dangerous conditions that exist on the premises must be outlined to ensure that the customer can take the required precautions to not bring harm to themselves. In any personal injury case, the crux of the matter lies with negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable duty of care when expected. For example, if the management of a store failed to put up the proper signs to inform you of something like a wet floor, that consists of negligence and makes the owner liable for their lack of information. If any unsafe conditions exist within the store's premises, the owner is required to inform any visitor of those dangerous conditions.
What Counts as a Dangerous Condition In a Retail Store?
A dangerous condition is any condition that could bring harm to someone. Personal injury lawsuits are typically predicated on the idea that these conditions were the cause of an accident. The owner's negligence is typically to blame for these conditions. Some of them include:
- Defective Escalators
- Poor Lighting
- Insufficient signage
- Property Negligence/Lack of Security
While these are just a handful of cases where unsafe conditions arise in a retail store, they are by no means the only times when a person can be injured. A personal injury claim may come from any one of these conditions. If a person has become injured and must seek medical treatment, there's a good chance that they can bring a suit against the property owner.
What Counts as the Store Premises?
It might be tempting to think that the store premise is just the physical property where the store exists, but that's not strictly the case. The store's premises extends beyond the main retail space and may encompass parking lots and loading areas around the store. Merchandise display areas, aisles, and checkout counters all fall under the definition of the premises. If any harm to customers happens within these areas, the property owner may be liable.
There are some cases where multiple businesses share a parking lot or loading bay. In these situations, the responsibility lies with the company that has more infrastructural ownership in the area. If you've gone to one store, but the accident happens in the shared parking lot that another store has the majority of infrastructure on, it may be the second company's responsibility to ensure that you don't injure yourself.
What To Do If Injured?
If you're injured on a particular business's property, it's important that you shouldn't panic. You should seek medical help immediately, even if you're suffering from minor injuries. Once you've stabilized your condition, you may want to consider taking the matter to court. The complicated process of a personal injury lawsuit becomes much simpler with a law firm on your side. They can outline the negligent conduct of the property owner and seek damages for the personal injury done to you.
If you're hurt by another customer, the situation changes dramatically. While the store owner is required to provide a safe premises, they are not liable for the damages caused by a third-party such as an irate customer. Even if the customer was angry because of something done by the staff or management of the outlet, they are not responsible for how that customer behaved and any injuries you sustained from their actions. The potential liability lies with the other customer. In such a case, the retail owner might be willing to help your personal injury case against the other customer.
The Results of a Personal Injury
When a person enters a store, they expect the owner to take reasonable care of their well-being. That duty of care extends to things like ensuring they can't be injured by simply being on the property. However, sometimes the owner fails in their duty of care, leading to severe injuries for his or her clientele. It's not uncommon for medial professionals to outline different types of injuries in personal injury lawsuits. Some of the most common ones include neck injuries, soft tissue injuries, head injuries, and other minor injuries too numerous to note. A personal injury attorney may be able to leverage financial compensation for your injuries, if they were caused by the owner's negligence.
Dealing With Insurance
In many cases, store owners have insurance companies that offer them premise liability policies. The insurance company is always concerned with paying out as little as possible in potential case settlement. In these cases the insurance company will go to great lengths to prove that their client took reasonable care to earn you about the situation. This includes posting a clearly visible warning sign and informing visitors about potential hazards that might cause harm. If the insurance company can't prove that you're not lying, they might consider settling your personal injury claim out of court.
If the insurance company decides to take the matter to court, you will need a personal injury lawyer to represent you. You lawyer will collect the relevant documents to make your case, including the incident report, police report, and any medical report that might paint a better picture of your injury for the jury. Other evidence, such as footage from video cameras might also make a difference, but the retail establishment might not want to give up their rights on such footage.
Settlements in Personal Injury Cases
If you settle out of court, the insurance company is likely to push you to settle for a sum that is far less than what it takes to cover your medical expenses. In this case, your law firm can tell them you're not interested and let the matter go to the courts. Occasionally, the insurance company will try to renegotiate. However, if they consistently lowball you on a figure, the courts are the best way to get fair compensation for your injuries.
The courts are likely to review your compensation claims and decide whether to award you damages. Compensatory damages for lack of reasonable care from a property owner may include covering lost wages and medical bills. Even if you're dealing with minor injuries, these compensatory damages can help you deal with the added stress of your injuries.
Choosing an Experienced Lawyer for your Premise Liability Claim
If you're planning to file a premise liability claim, you should pick a lawyer that has the experience to deal with them. Glenn Law is a personal injury practice that has seen scores of clients leave with settlements in their favor. As a personal injury practice, we can help with assessment of damage and settlements to deal with your injuries and lost wages. A personal injury case isn't something that ends overnight, and you'll need an experienced lawyer to guide you through the treacherous waters. Give us a call today or come in for a consult. We'll be more than happy to take a look at your case.
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