Supermarket Slip and Fall – Does it Matter Who Caused the Spill and How Long it was There?

You are injured in a Slip and Fall on a puddle on the floor of a Supermarket.  Does it matter legally who spilled the liquid and how long it was there before you fell?

You might think no, it shouldn’t matter, because the spill is on the Store’s property and you were injured by falling in it.

But, in reality, it’s extremely important to find out who spilled the liquid and how long it was there.  Whether or not you can make a legal claim for compensation often depends on the answers to those two questions.

Why Does Who Caused the Spill Matter?

The general rule is that Stores can only be held legally liable for injuries caused by their Negligence, which is their failure to use reasonable care to protect their customers from harm.

Stores are responsible for the conduct of their employees, but are usually not responsible for the conduct of other customers or independent contractors like delivery people.

So, if a spill was caused by a store employee, then the Store is likely liable.

However, if a customer or contractor caused the spill, then the issue becomes whether the Store should have noticed the spill and cleaned it up or posted warning signs before you fell.

Why Does it Matter How Long the Spill Was There Before You Fell?

As I said, time doesn’t really matter if a Store employee caused the spill.

However, if it was caused by another customer or a contractor, then the length of time is very important in determining whether the Store was Negligent.  If the spill happened three seconds before you fell it will be hard to argue that the Store should have noticed and cleaned it up before you fell.  But, if it happened three hours before, then you have a much stronger case for Negligence.

Video Can Be Crucial?

With regard to the issues of who caused the spill and how long it was there, security video from the fall location can be very helpful.  For this reason, it is imperative that you report your fall to the store immediately after and insist (in writing) that all security video be preserved.

Tim Rayne is a Slip and Fall and Personal Injury Lawyer who helps injured accident victims understand their legal rights and receive fair compensation from insurance companies.  Tim regularly represents victims of Slip and Fall accidents in stores and other commercial properties.  Contact Tim at 6108400124 or [email protected] for a Free Consultation regarding any accident claim.  

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