When a hazardous environment is created, the priority of the owner of the property should be to clean it up. However, the thoroughness of the cleanup is just as important. Failing to mop the excess water or to properly mark the wet floor while it dries can be just as hazardous as the mess itself.
This issue resulted in a lady receiving compensation of $2.1 million after ripping her hamstring at a Target when caution signs for a wet floor did not cover the whole area.
The entire incident began before the woman even entered the store. A customer spilled a liquid on the ground, and while the store manager responded to it immediately, reports claim that the job of mopping the substance actually left soapy water all over the area. The store proceeded to mark the space in order to prevent any accident.
The issue was that the cones were misplaced and did not suggest the full area of wet floor. When the woman approached the scene, she attempted to cautiously maneuver around the cones, but because the space was marked incorrectly, she still slipped on the wet floor and landed in a split position. This led to a hamstring ripped out of the hip joint, a surgery to repair it, and a long period of pain and recovery.
Target attempted to argue the case rather than pay for the bills, trying to place the blame on the woman, stating that her inattention caused her to fall. The jury disagreed, awarding the woman $700,000 for future non-economic damages combined with $1.4 million for her past suffering.
When the Cleanup Is the Hazard
It is a store’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment for shoppers. Spills and other hazards should be handled seriously, and if you have been injured due to an unsafe condition in a store, you are entitled to compensation for your time, pain, and medical expenses.
Take the previous example. The issue here was not that the store did not react to the spill. The people in the store followed procedure; they cleaned up the spill and marked the area. The issue was that they neglected to mark the entire area affected. Procedure to contain a hazard is worthless if it is not followed thoroughly.
If signs are placed correctly and you still slip and fall, you’ll likely struggle to find a lawyer to take your case. But if the signs are placed incorrectly, or the cleanup is done so poorly that it creates a new hazard, you should be able to ask for compensation for your injuries.
Why Hire a Lawyer After a Slip and Fall?
If you fall victim to a store’s negligence, you too could be entitled to compensation. Many are hesitant to hire a lawyer because they don’t know what to expect.
When you hire an experienced slip-and-fall attorney, proper discovery will take place. This is why it is so important to gather as many witnesses and statements as you can. Your attorney will gather medical records and a statement from the doctor who treated you for your injuries. If necessary, your lawyer might also discuss your injury with an expert, such as a structural engineer, in order to establish the liability.
That means if you hire a skilled lawyer, most of the responsibility for proving your claim will lift off your shoulders and fall onto his or hers.
If you have experienced this type of negligence in a store, let someone else fight for what you deserve. Call Hensley Legal Group today to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online.