Slips, trips, and falls can occur for a variety of reasons in different places. Sometimes liquid or food spills lead to slips and falls, while torn carpeting, uneven rugs or inadequate lighting can result in a trip and fall incident and injuries. Slip and fall accidents in supermarkets frequently occur when the store has not cleaned up a liquid spill or has not posted warning signs after a spill has occurred. These accidents can also occur after a floor has been waxed and the business owner not warned customers about a slick floor following a cleaning. In many cases, a supermarket may be liable for your injuries if you got hurt in a slip and fall while browsing or shopping in the store. We want to discuss some key issues in supermarket slips and falls, and to encourage you to discuss the particular facts of your case with a Colorado premises liability lawyer.
Common Causes of Slips and Falls in Supermarkets
A slip and fall can have many causes in a grocery store, including but not limited to the following:
- Liquid spill in one of the aisles;
- Slick floor due to recent mopping;
- Slippery entryway after customers track in snow from outdoors;
- Slippery entryway caused by customers’ wet umbrellas;
- Unsalted and icy entryway to the supermarket;
- Recently waxed floors that are slick; and/or
- Damaged flooring.
To be clear, a supermarket can be liable for slips and falls that happen inside the store, as well as slips and falls that occur just outside the store in the entryway or in the parking lot if unsafe conditions exist there, such as ice or potholes. In particular, slips and falls that occur during winter months outside may be a result of the store’s failure to clear snow and ice for customer safety.
Determining a Supermarket’s Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries
Slips and falls happen more often than you might expect in Colorado supermarkets. In order to hold the retail store accountable for your injuries and to seek financial compensation, you will need to be able to prove that the store is liable according to Colorado premises liability law. The following are some of the issues you will need to consider with assistance from your slip and fall attorney:
- Whether the store (or one of its employees) through it’s actions or inactions caused the dangerous condition (unreasonably unsafe) that led to the slip and fall;
- Whether the store (or one of its employees) knew about, or should have known about, the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall;
- Whether the store posted a warning sign to warn customers about the dangerous condition; and
- Whether you (the injured customer) were also partially at fault for the slip and fall accident.
In situations where a shopper is partially at fault for his or her injuries, Colorado law can bar that person’s recovery. Under Colorado’s comparative fault law, a plaintiff can recover damages as long as she is not 50 percent or more to blame. If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent at fault, her damages will be diminished by her percentage of liability. If a plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault, Colorado law will bar her from recovery.
One important reason for taking quick action is that supermarkets often have video recordings of your slip and fall, and these videos must be requested promptly in order to preserve that critical evidence.
Discuss Your Case with a Colorado Slip and Fall Attorney
Getting hurt in a slip and fall can be devastating, but one of our Colorado slip and fall lawyers can assess your case and help you to determine whether the supermarket is likely to be liable for your injuries. Contact McCormick & Murphy, P.C. today to get started on your case.