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When are store owners liable for slip-and-fall accidents?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Store owners in Virginia have to pay attention to many different aspects of the business to ensure their customers are receiving the best services they can receive. Some aspects do not directly relate to the customers, such as paying rent, but are still necessary to carry on the business. Other aspects directly relate to customers such as ensuring that they have the products the customers want and have employees who are able to assist them when necessary.

Safety duties owed to customers

Store owners also have a duty to keep their customers safe. To ensure that the customers are safe, store owners have certain duties, which include:

  • Keep the store in reasonably safe condition.
  • Remove objects and clean up spills within a reasonable amount of time after knowing that the object or spill is on the ground.
  • Warn customers of it and keep from being hurt by it, until they are able to remedy the situation.

Proving the store owner is at fault

If store owners do not follow these duties, they could be liable for any injuries that customers suffer as a result of a slip-and-fall type accident. Some of the injuries that customers suffer can be very severe and require significant medical treatment and rehabilitation. They can be devastating both physically and financially and the store owner may need to pay for the damages. However, in order for the customer to be successful, they must prove certain elements, which are:

  • That the store owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. Constructive knowledge can be established by demonstrating that the dangerous condition was present for a sufficient period of time and that the owner should have known about it.
  • In addition to demonstrating knowledge of the dangerous condition, the victim also needs to prove that the store owner failed to rectify or warn the customer of the dangerous condition in a reasonable manner.

When people shop at various stores in Virginia, their focus is generally on what they need to purchase. They do not expect that they will be hurt due to a dangerous condition within the store. Unfortunately, store owners do not always meet their duties to keep their customers safe and customers are injured as a result. These injuries can be very costly and holding the store owner accountable is important. Experienced attorneys understand how to prove fault in these matters and may be able to guide one through the process.