Do You Think You Have a Valid Slip and Fall Case?
We go to the supermarket with the intention of buying groceries for the coming week. As we maneuver the aisles, our attention is fixed on comparing prices and choosing the right foods for our family. We rely on the management of the supermarket to provide a safe environment for us to accomplish this. But what happens if you slip and fall in their store? If your accident was in some way the result of negligence on the part of management, how do you provide proof?
This situation is called “proving notice” and becomes the responsibility of the victim. As the victim, you have to prove that, not only did a condition exist that caused you to fall and become injured in their establishment, but you also have to prove that they were aware that the condition existed. Having prior knowledge means that they were aware and still took no action to prevent the danger from affecting others.
Prior Knowledge is a Key Factor
A typical supermarket is a busy place with customers running in and out on a constant basis. As the congestion increases, so does the possibility and probability of spills or other factors that create a dangerous environment. But just because such a condition exists does not necessarily mean that the supermarket management was aware of it. This must be proven.
Proving notice is largely dependent on the source of the condition. If a customer in front of you spilled something on the floor and the establishment has not been notified, nor had sufficient time to clean up the mess, then proving notice might be rather difficult. Anyone, even a business, has to be given a reasonable amount of time to rectify a situation.
Recent Incident or Long Term Negligence?
However, if liquid has built up on the floor because of a leak from a piece of equipment or a poorly drained area, then this is a different matter. This could indicate that the condition has been obvious for some time and has been ignored by management. A good example would be the sprayers that moisten produce. If these sprayers are not properly adjusted, they can easily spray water onto the floor. Over-spraying can also cause excess water to make it’s way onto a slippery floor.
If you think you need to prove notice in a slip and fall incident, you should consult an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney will know exactly what conditions constitute a potential hazard that should have been rectified by the supermarket staff. Consulting a lawyer is the best way to understand what your rights are and verify if, in fact, you were needlessly exposed to a hazard.
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Laurence Mandell is an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Laurence Mandell is the managing partner of The Mandell Law Firm, an aggressive personal injury and wrongful death law firm in Woodland Hills, California serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area and Southern California. Experienced and reputable, our attorneys provide hands-on care and sincere commitment to victims of personal injury of all kinds, including accidents and third party negligence. If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, contact Laurence Mandell for a free consultation at 818.886.6600.