Premises cases usually involve some type of fall to the ground, whether due to a slippery floor, an uneven surface, or an obstacle or impediment to safely walking. But there are many other types of premises cases. For instance we have represented clients who were hurt when boxes or displays fell on them, particularly at so-called Super-Stores where merchandise is stored on very high shelves.
These cases present some unique challenges. The law requires that the victim in these cases must provide proof that the premises owner (or tenant as the case may be) had some prior knowledge that a dangerous condition existed.
This is not always a simple matter. Take the situation of a supermarket. If you are walking through the produce aisle squeezing fruit, you may not notice that little grape on the floor until the sole of your shoe makes contact with it and you are flying in the air and landing on your rear end! After you have landed, your back smarting, your integrity hurting more, you will feel an immediate onset of embarrassment, the number one symptom that people have described to me over the years upon falling. You may get up, maybe on your own or with the assistance of a friend or onlooker, brush yourself off and look at the bottom of your shoe where the perpetrator remains crushed and squashed. If there are no other grapes on the floor, you have just destroyed the only piece of evidence that may have helped you to hold the store liable for your accident.
You see, if the grape had already been stepped on, perhaps leaving the residue of a footprint, it might be proven that the grape had been on the floor for some period of time, perhaps long enough for someone working at the store to have discovered it upon reasonable inspection. If that were the case and they did nothing about it, you might be able to hold the store liable. Needless to say, the single grape case is a very difficult case. A different scenario is snow and ice. Say you have just parked and are exiting your car in a parking lot to run in and buy some donuts and coffee. It has been snowing all day and the storm has not yet stopped. Or the snow stopped only within the past 10 minutes and you step from your car lose traction and slip, falling on your back. Can you succeed in an action against the landowner? Probably not. The law requires that a reasonable period of time elapses before you can hold the landowner responsible. To be entitled to compensation for a fall on snow and ice, there has to be evidence of knowledge of the snow and ice, sufficient time to remedy the situation and a duty to keep the area safe.
Other types of premises accidents include cases against hair and beauty salons, amusement park accidents, school playground accidents etc.
I have handled cases against salons in situations arising from the improper use of hair dying products where the scalp gets burned sometimes very seriously with permanent scarring. I have handled cases of leg waxing where the wax was not sanitized correctly and the client sustained a bacterial wound and resulting scarring to the legs. I have also handled cases against tanning salons when the tanning didn’t go as planned and the client ended up with 2nd or 3rd degree burns.
If you are injured on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will know what evidence to collect and how to present it in the most aggressive, favorable way to ensure you success in your case. We have years of experience handling these types of cases.