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Can I seek compensation if I fall in a store?

You have your list in your hand and your money in your pocket. Maybe you only have a little time to grab the things you need, or this is a leisurely shopping trip, so you can take your time. No matter your schedule, you undoubtedly did not plan to slip or trip in the store and take a hard fall onto the floor.

In your youth, you may have never given a thought to stumbling or falling. It likely happened at least once a day. However, as you get older, falls can be much more dangerous and injuries more severe. If your fall occurred because of the negligence of a South Carolina storeowner, manager or property owner, you may have questions about your rights and options for seeking compensation.

Proving that negligence resulted in your fall

One of the most common hazards you may encounter in a public area is a wet floor. Not every store manager is diligent about addressing spills where customers may walk, such as placing warning cones around a spill until an employee retrieves a mop to clean up the mess. Other hazards include clutter in the aisles, uneven floor tiles or dangerously assembled displays upon which you may trip. A fall hazard may also include poorly lit stairs or uneven sidewalks outside the store.

Most anything can become a hazard for tripping or slipping. Proving that the business owner or the owner's representative was at fault is more complex. To build your case, you must demonstrate the following:

  • The owner or manager created the hazard or knew that it was there.
  • If the owner or manager did not know it was there, he or she should have known because the hazard existed long enough that someone should have encountered it in the course of normal duties.
  • The owner or manager understood that the presence of the condition could result in a fall or injury for a customer or employee.
  • The owner did nothing to correct the hazardous condition or warn customers of its existence.

When presenting your case, you will have to consider whether the business owner, manager or property owner acted reasonably. You may also have to defend your own actions since the representatives of the business will likely suggest your own carelessness or distraction contributed to your fall. However, if you suffered serious injuries from a fall that a business owner could have prevented, you have the right to pursue the compensation you need and deserve.

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West Columbia, SC 29169

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