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Can I Sue if I Fall in a Store?

Slip and Fall Injury in a Store

If you fall in a store and suffer an injury, you can sue the store for damages, up to three years after the event occurs. Whether you win the case, though, depends on several factors. All of it hinges on the duties that the store owner has. If that owner is negligent, you have a right to recover for the injuries you sustain, as well as lost wages and other related damages you suffer.

Caused by a Dangerous Condition

If you trip over your own shoelace or fall for random reasons, you cannot recover from the store owner. There must be a condition in the store that caused you to fall: an unmarked wet floor, a loose board, a faulty display of goods, or some other issue present. A store owner has a duty to maintain the store in a safe way; if he does not, he is negligent.

Knowledge of Condition

The owner also must know about the condition in the store. If a customer in the store dropped a carton of eggs on the floor, and you slipped and fell on the eggs almost immediately after, that is probably not the owner’s fault. The owner must have an opportunity to know about the danger. This does not mean the owner can choose not to inspect the store. A manager’s knowledge of conditions will be imputed to the owner. Further, if the manager never looks at the floor or engages in routine inspections of the premises, that itself is negligent. If the owner or manager knows or should have known there was a problem, liability follows.

Failure to Repair

Finally, despite knowing about the condition, there must be a failure to complete the repairs needed. Again, if the condition developed quickly and the store owner has not had a chance to complete repairs, the owner may not be negligent.

After a slip and fall injury, the cause of the accident and negligence of the owner will be the crux of your legal case. A Wisconsin personal injury attorney can help assess your claim and enforce your right to recovery.