Florida residents may know that store owners, malls and other commercial buildings have a responsibility to maintain the premises in a way that keeps them safe for shoppers. If this effort is not made, the owner may be held liable if a shopper is injured through no fault of their own. There are conditions that both the owner and the shopper must meet for negligence to be established.
Each state has premises liability laws that allow a shopper to file a lawsuit. Owners are obligated to keep the premises free of hazardous conditions such as spills and fallen objects. The premises should also have adequate lighting, stairs and handrails that are unbroken as well as security to adequately protect customers. The customer must be alert for danger that may be avoided with caution on their part. The shopper may not enter areas closed to public traffic or act in a way that might cause an accident.
In order to establish negligence, the injured shopper needs to prove that his or her injury would not have happened if the danger or condition was not present in the store. In addition to causing the accident, the shopper must show that it caused damage. The types of shopping injuries may include fractures, head and neck or spinal injury. Trauma due to accidents, such as those caused by an escalator malfunction, may result in death.
If a shopper is injured at a commercial facility, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney knowledgeable about premises liability. The attorney may help by evaluating the accident to determine if the owner was negligent and liable for the victim’s injury. If so, the attorney may help by filing a personal injury suit in civil court to recover damages due to medical bills and lost wages.
Source: Findlaw, “Shopping Injuries Overview“, November 20, 2014