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When is a store owner responsible for a spill?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Slip-And-Falls

When a slip and fall accident happens in a store, it is sometimes because there has been some sort of spill. This creates a slick spot on the floor that customers are not expecting, and someone will eventually slip and fall. This may sound like a minor issue, but it can lead to severe injuries, especially if the person strikes their head on the tile floor or on a shelf.

Naturally, that person may blame the store owner for the dangerous condition. But the owner may counter that they shouldn’t be held responsible and that it was outside of their control. So when is it their responsibility? Here are three reasons:

1. They created the danger

First off, if a store owner does something to create a dangerous condition, it’s clearly their fault. Maybe they were unloading a pallet when they dropped a glass canister that broke, and they failed to clean it up quickly.

2. They acted negligently

The second way that it is their fault is if they knew there was a risk and they were negligent by ignoring the problem or simply not reacting to it quickly enough. An example of this could be if the store owner knew that a customer spilled something but decided to do other tasks before assigning someone to clean up the spill.

3. They should have known

Finally, you’ll have cases where the owner will argue that they didn’t know about the spill. This may be a defense for them, but not if the danger existed for so long that they should have realistically found out about it and corrected it. Ignoring problems does not remove liability.

If you have been injured in a case like this, you may need significant financial compensation. Be sure that you know exactly what legal options you have.