Retail Store Accidents
Some common reasons that people are injured in retail stores include spilled liquids, wet floors, melted snow, falling big boxes, and cracks or defects in an entryway. Accidents can result in serious harm, such as head, neck, and back injuries, broken bones, and dislocated hips. If you are hurt in a retail store due to the store's negligence, the Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids premises liability attorneys at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you hold the store accountable. Each year for the past several years, Kelly Neumann has regularly secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases.Seeking Compensation after a Retail Store Accident
As in other personal injury cases, plaintiffs trying to establish a retail store's liability must first establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This entails proving that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached this duty, there was actual and proximate (legal) causation, and damages were incurred. Under Michigan law, retail stores have a legal duty to make sure their property is reasonably safe for customers. They are expected to conduct regular inspections of their property to make sure there are no dangerous conditions that necessitate repair or warning signs. A plaintiff must establish that the store had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition.
It can be difficult to prove actual notice, unless an employee admits that he or she saw a spill and simply failed to clean it up, or there is documentation that an employee noticed improper stacking of big boxes and nobody bothered to fix it. The longer a dangerous condition exists, the more likely it is that a court will find there was constructive notice of the condition. For example, if there is a pool of opaque liquid on the store floor for five hours, and nobody bothers to put up an orange warning cone or mop the area, this is likely to be considered constructive notice. However, if one customer spills water on the floor, and immediately another customer slips on it, there may not be enough time for the store to have had constructive notice of the spill.
Moreover, in Michigan, a storeowner will not be liable for an open and obvious dangerous condition. This means that when a customer reasonably could be expected to see a hazard on his or her own, he or she is expected to try to avoid it.
If you suffer injuries in a retail store, you should immediately let the manager of the store know and file a written report. You should also make sure that the report includes the time and date and the names of eyewitnesses. Although the duty owed by retail stores to their customers is clear, it can be difficult to establish the requisite notice without any other eyewitnesses. It is also important to take pictures. In some cases, retail stores have surveillance footage of an accident, but they do not always archive videotapes. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney right away about your accident.Discuss Your Case with a Premises Liability Attorney in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Retail store accidents can cause significant injuries. The Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City premises liability lawyers at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you establish a store’s liability so that you can recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. We represent victims in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in California and Massachusetts. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with a slip and fall attorney.