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Who is negligent in a slip-and-fall accident at a store?

| Mar 10, 2021 | Premises Liability

Grocery store shoppers in New Jersey might find a local establishment crowded and bustling. Consumers could lose their bearing and fall. Or, they may slip on something spilled on the floor. The resulting injuries could be far worse than expected, leading to civil claims. Who is responsible for the loss, though? Sometimes, the answer could be a little murky.

Questions about grocery store slip-and-fall accidents

Assumptions that a grocery store is always responsible for injuries on its premises would not be correct. There must be some element of negligence involved.

If a bottle of tomato sauce slipped out of someone’s hands and shattered, the grocery store may be liable when workers fail to clean up the mess. A customer who falls 30 seconds after the bottle broke might find the store is not negligent, however, as that might not even be close to an adequate response time.

What if the grocery store cleaned up the mess and posted signs about being cautious due to a wet floor? Someone who ignores the warning may end up responsible for his or her injuries. Cleaning up the floor, making the surface slippery, and not cleaning anything up might leave the grocery store open to litigation.

Customers could be liable

What if horseplay between customers led to the tomato sauce bottle breaking? The “misbehaving” customers may face claims of negligence, while the store might not be responsible. If the store’s management did not take steps to stop frequent occurrences of horseplay, then liability may extend to the store.

Persons hurt in a slip-and-fall accident may file an insurance claim against the store’s provider. The provider may attempt to deflect liability from its client.

Injured persons wishing to explore a premises liability claim or lawsuit could speak to a personal injury attorney. The attorney may advise on a course of action to take.

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