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Tripped on a mat? You could have a claim

You were headed into one of your favorite stores when you saw that there was a slick area ahead. You went around it, and you let the store owner know that it was there.

You did expect them to take care of it, so you forgot about it. You figured that they would salt their entire sidewalk out front and make sure that the stairs were all in good shape. What you didn't expect was that you would actually get hurt inside the shop.


As you went to leave the store, you didn't slip on ice. You didn't fall from water. Instead, you tripped over a poorly laid entrance mat that they'd hastily thrown down. Unfortuantely, that fall resulted in hitting your head and spraining your wrist. It required a hospital visit, and now you're facing bills from it.

Store owners are responsible for the safety of their premises

This case is one to talk about, because store owners are responsible for the safety of their premises. If an employee is told to put down a mat to prevent slip-and-fall accidents but leaves it bunched up, they should know that someone could trip over it and fall. That hasty, unconcerned action by an employee could lead to serious injuries or even death in a worst-case scenario.

While some may argue that you should "watch where you're going," the reality is that you already told the store about hazards. You told them that you were paying attention and that there were slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall hazards. The fact is, if they created another hazard, they should be held responsible for that action.

What do you need to do if you fall in a store?

Let the employees nearby, or the store owner, know that you fell. They should be willing to help you, either by calling 911 to get you help at the scene or by making sure that you're okay to leave and drive to the hospital or medical office on your own.

They should also be prepared to take on the premises liability claim that you are likely to make. When you fall as a result of a property's hazards, the owner of that property should be aware that you'll be making a claim. You can also let them know this, or you can ask your attorney to send a letter to them once you know the state of your health.

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