Liability for Customer Injuries

Is the store owner liable if a customer is injured?

Most of us will venture inside of a store of some type at least once a week to purchase groceries, clothing, and other essentials.  When you enter a store, you expect the store to be a safe place in which you can perform your shopping or browsing without concern for your physical safety.  However, thousands of Americans suffer an injury while in or around a shop each year.  Slip and falls comprise the majority of all store related accidents.  If you are injured in a store, the store owner could potentially be liable for your injuries in a slip and fall or premises liability lawsuit.

A Business Owner’s Duty of Care to Customers

Business owners in New Mexico and across the nation have a duty of care to their customers.  Business owners need to take reasonable steps to ensure that the store environment is safe for patrons.  This could include routinely inspecting the store for conditions that could cause injury and promptly repairing any defects.

If a customer is injured inside of a store or on its premises, the business owner may be liable if he or she violated the duty of care.  Some situations that could give rise to liability on the part of the store owner include evidence that the business:

  • Created the unsafe condition; or
  • Knew of the unsafe condition and failed to remedy it.

Slip and fall cases are complex and will require a thorough analysis of the circumstances that gave rise to the accident.  Timing will be of critical importance, as will evidence of previous accidents or reports of the hazard.  For example, if a patron slipped on spilled fruit in a grocery store and cameras or witness reports indicate the fruit was on the floor for some time before the fall, this could lend weight to a finding of liability.

Anyone who has been injured while in a store should contact a premises liability lawyer immediately.  Your attorney will review the facts surrounding the fall and provide you with an individualized assessment of the strength of your case.  Injured customers may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Posted in: Premises Liability