Can You Sue for Slip and Fall Injuries Suffered in a Cincinnati Store?
Slip and fall injuries can be serious and are all too common on commercial properties. If you fall in a store in Cincinnati, can you sue for your injury?
There are a number of big retail outlets around Cincinnati. Here are just a few that operate in close proximity to our office on Colerain Avenue and Vine Street:
- Macy’s at 505 Vine Street
- Dollar Depot at 927 Vine Street
- Walgreens at 601 Race Street
- Walmart Supercenter stores on Colerain Avenue, Ferguson Road, and Red Bank Road
It is convenient to have so many retail outlets close by, but the fact remains that they or any kind of store could be harboring a hidden danger — slippery or poorly maintained walking surfaces.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult falls each second of every day, and falls are a leading cause of death among the elderly in this country. Of course, you do not have to be elderly to suffer a broken arm, leg, or traumatic brain injury as a result of falling in a store or striking your head on the ground when you fall down.
A slip and fall may sound like a trivial incident until it happens to you or someone you love. Unseen liquid on a floor, a worn carpet, or a bumpy threshold can quickly throw you off balance. Retail stores and other commercial spaces have a legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent these types of hazards, but they do not always put adequate effort into the task and they are not always successful. What can you do if you are injured in a store?
What causes a slip and fall?
If you slip or trip and are hurt while in a store as a shopper, it’s important to determine just what caused your fall.
Consider the following common contributors to injury in a store or public place:
- Poor lighting in entryways, hallways, or aisles
- Slippery surfaces or spilled substances that make floors dangerous
- Carpeting or tiling that is worn, torn, or uneven, causing tripping hazards
- Horseplay or running in a store
- A shopper’s own intoxication or impairment
In Ohio, the comparative negligence rule means that if you are partly responsible for your injury, any amount of compensation you might be awarded for your injury can be reduced by your percentage of fault. If your own fault exceeds 50 percent, you may not be entitled to compensation, even though you were injured on the premises.
In the examples above, horseplay or impairment could be considered factors that contribute to an injury. But more often, injury from slips and trips occurs due to conditions of the property itself.
If you fall and are hurt in a store in Cincinnati, ask for medical help if needed. If at all possible, take pictures on your smartphone of the substance or conditions that contributed to your fall. While a store owner or operator cannot immediately clean up every spill, they have a duty to clean up spills or place safety notices warning of the presence of slippery or dangerous surfaces. Sometimes the conditions that caused your fall, such as an electrical cord strung across the floor on an aisle, disappear quickly after an accident. Taking pictures preserves evidence that a hazard, perhaps due to negligence, played a role in your fall.