If you are injured while on the property of another, it is your right to pursue legal action against them if they failed to satisfy the duty of care that they owed you. This includes store owners, who owe specific legal duties to their patrons and customers.
However, the store owner is not the only party that may be liable for your slip and fall injuries. The property owner, if different than the business owner, or other contractors might incur liability if they failed to meet the duties they owed to both you and the store.
At Wruck Paupore, our experienced Indiana slip and fall attorneys recognize the serious consequences of these types of injuries. To help you understand your legal rights and protect the compensation you are entitled to, we offer a free and fast case assessment by phone. You can call us at any time, day or night, at (219) 322-1166.
To sue and win a lawsuit against a store for slip and fall injuries, you will have to prove that the store owner’s negligence caused the fall to occur, leaving you with compensable harm. Negligence requires a showing that the store owner breached the duty of care they owed to you.
Any person who enters a store for business purposes is an “invitee” under Indiana premises liability purposes. Invitees are owed a higher standard of care by property owners than licensees, who enter a property for non-business purposes.
In order to avoid liability, property owners must take reasonably prudent steps to make the premises safe for the invitee. This includes curing hazards that could cause foreseeable harm. Suppose there are hazards that exist naturally, temporarily, or cannot be solved. In that case, the store owner must at least provide adequate warning to all invitees of the nature of the hazard and the potential consequences.
When a store owner fails to take these precautions, they may incur liability for the harms that their invitees suffer. However, for a plaintiff to win their case, the store owner’s negligent failure must have been the cause of the slip and fall accident. Our experienced Indianapolis slip and fall lawyers can answer all of your questions about how to demonstrate causation in your case.
If you can show that the store owner breached their duty, thereby causing your slip and fall, you can recover damages for your injuries. Still, you must be able to demonstrate those injuries in order to recover. For instance, if you only suffered a minor bruise in your slip and fall that didn’t prevent you from working and was resolved without any medical treatment, you won’t be able to obtain much, if anything, in the way of compensation because injuries were relatively small. That does not necessarily mean that the store wasn’t at fault, but it may mean that a case is not worth pursuing because little recovery is possible.
On the other hand, what might at first appear as a small injury, such as a bump to the head, can wind up being much more serious than it initially appears. Always seek medical care immediately after a slip and fall accident to diagnose and treat any conditions you may have, even if you believe you escaped with only minor injury. This is important both to your future health and to any legal claim you may bring.
There may be situations in which you have the ability to file a lawsuit to recover damages for injuries suffered in a slip and fall in a store where the store owner is not the at-fault party. Instead, your case may be against a third party who failed to meet their own duty.
Not every store owner also owns the property where the store is located. Suppose a store owner leases their retail space from a real estate management company. In that case, the lease will contain the terms of the agreement, including who is responsible for curing certain hazards on the property, and who will be liable for accidents on the property.
Store owners and real estate management companies may also contract with other entities to provide inspection and maintenance services for the property. The key area where this comes into play in Indiana slip and fall cases is for snow removal companies. For example, if a store owner contracts with a snow removal contractor to deal with icy areas of their parking lot, and the contractor fails to remove ice from a sidewalk that patrons frequently use, they could be held liable for injuries sustained in a slip and fall on the icy sidewalk.
In the types of situations described above, many critical determinations will come down to the fine print of the contracts between the potentially liable parties. You will want to have a dedicated South Bend slip and fall attorney on your side to help you break down this language to determine who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
Indiana’s statute of limitations caps the total amount of time you have to act on your claim to two years from the date the accident occurred. Courts take this two-year window seriously, so if you fail to file your claim in time, it is more than likely that your case will be dismissed, and you will miss out on your chance to recover. Further, there are some situations where certain procedural rules may accelerate the clock on your ability to file, such as where the defendant is a state or municipal government entity.
We urge you to avoid taking chances with the deadlines that may apply in your case by reaching out to a seasoned Milwaukee slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
When you call the offices of the resourceful Fort Wayne slip and fall lawyers at Wruck Paupore today, we can provide you with an initial case assessment free of charge. Reach out today by calling us at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.