If you slip and fall at a grocery store or on any other premises that you don’t own, the property owner may be liable for any damages that you incur. However, this is generally only true if your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. Let’s take a look at how slips and falls typically happen and what actions the owner of a property must generally take to keep you safe.
Ice or snow can cause slippery conditions
Sidewalks that are covered in ice or snow may increase your risk for slipping and falling. Business owners are generally not required to clear ice or snow that falls from the sky or to clear areas that are supposed to be maintained by a town or city. However, they may be responsible for removing snow, ice or water that drips from a roof or clear away snow from a portion of a sidewalk used exclusively by guests or customers.
Poor lighting or surface cracks can increase your fall risk
In addition to keeping parking lots, sidewalks and interior surfaces dry, business and other property owners must provide surfaces that are free of cracks or debris. Furthermore, any changes in elevation between surfaces should be gradual as opposed to sudden. Finally, you are entitled to walk through a parking lot, parking garage or interior space that is properly lit.
If you slip and fall on any premises that you don’t own, you may have grounds to file a personal liability lawsuit against the person who owns or controls it. Generally speaking, a property owner has a duty to fix problems such as inadequate lighting in a store or potholes in a parking lot. An attorney may be able to help you pursue a settlement or file a lawsuit.