Q: After a slip and fall accident at a store, can I file a claim against an owner who did not account for wet floors because of weather?
Victims of a slip and fall accident at a store could potentially file a premises liability claim against a store owner who doesn’t account for wet floors during inclement weather conditions, such as rain or snow. There are important elements that a case like this could need to establish.
When Wet Floors in a Store Lead to Injuries
Generally, property owners aren’t responsible for conditions that occur naturally, like weather. But if the conditions pose an obvious danger to patrons and the store does nothing to correct it, or if the conditions were such that it would warrant inspecting the floors but the store does not do so, the owner could be liable.
Example of Slip and Fall Conditions at a Store
As soon as customers walk in the doors of a store, it’s common practice to wipe their feet on the mats. If heavy traffic coming into a store creates a pool of water on the floor, store owners and managers should implement measures to try to prevent it and warn of dangerous conditions.
Store owners have a responsibility to:
- provide mats;
- install ‘Wet Floor’ signs; and
- keep employees on-hand to dry the area as soon as possible.
Dealing with Challenging in a Slip and Fall Case
There can be a variety of challenges in this type of case. For instance, the injured person would need to prove that it was the condition (wet floor) that caused the slip and fall. Just because there is rainwater or snow on the floor, doesn’t necessarily mean that is what led to the person falling.
Another issue could be whether the owner had enough time to clean up the wet floor. If the rain just blew in or ice had just formed and the store was not aware of it and reasonably could not be expected to be aware of it, the store owner may not be liable for resultant accidents.
Taking legal action after a slip and fall accident at a commercial store can be confusing and in some cases intimidating for injured patrons. Contact Jason R. Schultz to get legal help, call (404) 474-0804.