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Is the property owner liable for a fall in a retail store?

The responsibility of a commercial property owner in California for the safety of people injured while shopping at a retail store or at a shopping mall depends on whether the injured person was lawfully on the property and whether the property owner was negligent.

Slip-and-fall accidents usually involve a dangerous property condition like a foreign substance on the floor, a broken sidewalk, poor lighting or some other condition that causes the victim to fall.

In most trip-and-fall cases, the injured person must prove that the owner of the property either knew or should have known of the existence of the dangerous condition, and that it was foreseeable that someone could be injured as a result of it.

Knowledge of a condition might be established with evidence showing that the property owner created the condition, or that the owner was aware of it.

Knowledge can also be inferred from the fact that a condition existed for such a long period of time the owner of the property should have taken notice of and corrected it. For example, an owner of a grocery store might be responsible for injuries suffered by a person who slipped on a wet floor caused by a jar falling from a shelf and spilling its contents on the floor.

The issue in such a case would be the length of time between the jar falling and the accident. If it can be proven that the dangerous property condition existed long enough for a reasonable person to have noticed it and taken steps toward correcting it or warning customers that it existed, then liability may be possible to establish

The laws pertaining to slip-and-fall accidents are complex and cannot adequately be covered in a blog post. The information contained in this posting is an overview of premises liability, but it is not offered as legal advice. Anyone with questions and concerns about injuries suffered in a premises liability incident should seek advice from an attorney.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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