- posted: Jun. 30, 2022
- Slips and Falls
A slip and fall can occur anywhere, but retail stores — especially supermarkets and high-volume merchandise distributors — are common sites for such accidents. A multitude of hazardous conditions can exist at such establishments, posing danger to shoppers and other people who might reasonably be expected on the premises.
The store owner or operator must keep the premises safe for visitors and warn them of any known potential dangers. Nevertheless, shoppers may encounter such hazards as obstructed aisles, overstocked shelves, unstable displays, falling merchandise, loose floor mats, slippery floors and spilled foods or liquids.
If you are hurt in a retail store slip and fall, you have the right to sue to recover damages. You must prove these elements:
- The store breached the duty of care — You will need to show one of the following on the part of the owner or operator:
- They caused the hazardous condition
- They knew about the dangerous condition and failed to fix it
- They should have known about the hazardous condition and done something about it
- The breach resulted in harm to you — You will have to prove the harm you suffered from the slip and fall. This means proof of the physical injury and of the resulting costs, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The store owner or operator may respond to your claim by stating you were at least partly responsible for the accident. Your own possible negligence — such as a failure to exercise reasonable caution or to heed posted warnings — can indeed affect your recovery of damages. Wisconsin is a comparative negligence state, which means the court will reduce your damages by the percentage of your own fault. However, so long as you were not more negligent than the store owner or operator, you can still collect damages. Thus, if your damages were $10,000 and you were 10 percent liable, you would receive $9,000. On the other hand, if you were 51 percent liable, you will recover nothing.
The first consideration in bringing any lawsuit is the statute of limitations, which controls how long you have to file. Wisconsin’s statute for personal injuries is three years from the date of the injury.
If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall at a retail store, you need a skilled personal injury attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. At the Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee, we have 40 years' experience and great success pursuing personal injury lawsuits in the Wisconsin courts. Call us at 414-273-7777 | 414-273-7100 or contact us online for an initial free consultation.