Every year New York residents suffer from slip and fall injuries inside department stores. A spill or another dangerous condition can result in slip and fall accidents in supermarkets, retail stores, gas stations, and department stores. Older customers and those with medical conditions are more prone to injuries from slipping and falling in a department store or other location. New York law allows those injured in department store slip and fall accidents to recover compensation for their injuries in certain circumstances.
When a store owner or occupier fails to use reasonable care to make the store safe for customers, he or she may be liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions. New York City attorney Michael LoGiudice, LLP, has extensive experience fighting for clients who’ve fallen and become injured in department stores and other commercial locations. If you or a family member have suffered an injury in a department store, grocery store, or any other retail location, it is essential to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact our New York City slip and fall lawyers today to learn how you can file a department store injury claim and how our team can fight for your right to compensation.
New York Slip and Fall Accidents Can Be Dangerous
Slip and fall accidents at New York retail stores are some of the most common causes of injury in New York and throughout the United States. Many Americans visit grocery stores, shopping malls, or department stores at least once a week without considering the potential dangers of a slip and fall accident. Accidental falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits in the United States every year. Of those visits, 12 percent or over 1 million injuries occur because of slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall accidents are especially severe for elderly customers. For individuals, age 65-84, slip, and falls are the second leading cause of death by injury. For people age 85 years and older, falls are the leading cause of death by injury in the United States. Slip and fall accidents in stores can be economically damaging as well as physically dangerous. Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of workers’ compensation claims and a common cause of employees needing to miss work.
Common Causes of Department Store Slip and Fall Accidents
Common causes of slip and fall injuries in retail stores include the following:
- Insufficient parking lot lighting
- Liquids that have spilled onto the floor
- Faulty elevators, escalators, and staircases
- Aisle obstructions
- Jagged shelves and displays
- Uneven flooring or ripped up the carpet
- Breakdown of a mechanical door
- Products falling from shelves, causing a customer to slip and fall
Department Stores Have a Duty to Keep Their Premises Reasonably Safe
Retail store owners have a duty to do everything reasonably possible to keep customers safe from dangerous conditions that could cause injuries. When retail stores fail to prevent a hazardous condition on their property, they may be liable for their negligence. Stores have a duty to use reasonable care to maintain their floors to avoid dangerous slippery conditions. Indeed, it is common practice for stores to place yellow cones out while employees mop the floor to warn customers of the wet floors.
Even if the store owner or manager did not know that the dangerous condition existed, he or she may still be liable for the injury if they should have known of the hazardous condition. For example, if customers have frequently knocked over laundry detergent onto the floor because of an unsafe product display area, they likely have a duty to fix the dangerous condition. Similarly, if a store knows that the sidewalk outside its entryway tends to ice over, the store owes customers a duty of reasonable care to check their paths and salt them should they become icy.
The Legal Rights of a Customer in a Department Store Injury Claim
Customers who browse and shop at New York department stores are invitees under New York premises liability law. Store owners and managers owe invitees a duty of reasonable care to provide safe premises anywhere on their property, including the following locations:
- Parking lots
- Check-out lanes
- Dressing rooms
- Any location to which customers have access
Proving the Department Store’s Liability in an Injury Claim
To secure compensation for a slip and fall injury, the injured party must prove several elements of negligence:
- A dangerous condition caused the customer to slip and fall
- The retailer knew or should have known of the dangerous condition
- The retailer failed to repair the dangerous condition
- The dangerous condition caused the customer’s injuries
- The customer sustained actual damages (e.g. lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering)
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Help with Your Department Store Injury Claim
The skilled attorneys at Michael LoGiudice, LLP have an in-depth understanding of New York law as it pertains to slip and fall cases. When clients suffer soft tissue injuries, bumps, scrapes, bruises, and sprained tendons, the best option may be to seek compensation through the store’s insurance policy. Negotiating a settlement may be the best legal option for injured parties who suffer more severe injuries, including the following:
More severe injuries often require costly medical treatments, time off of work, and additional expenses. Hiring a skilled slip and fall attorney to negotiate with the store’s insurance company strategically can help clients receive a favorable settlement. If you’ve suffered an injury from slipping and falling in a New York department store, we can help. Contact Michael LoGiudice, LLP, to schedule a free consultation. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we recover for you.