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Any time you visit a store, a restaurant, a car dealership, or any other commercial establishment, the furthest thing from your mind is that you may suffer an accident and end up being injured in that place. However, injuries in any type of business are much more common than you might imagine. So, can you sue a business for injury?
From the point of view of the consumer, these accidents can lead to some injuries that are minor while others may follow them for the rest of their lives. From the point of view of the business, these accidents end up as an added cost of doing business.
When can you sue a business for injury?
Just as every business has a responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment for their customers, everyone visiting their business has a right to feel relatively safe while there. If you have been injured in a business that failed to provide you with a safe environment, you may be able to file a suit against them.
What elements must be present when you file a personal injury lawsuit against a business?
These are the three basic elements that must be present in a personal injury lawsuit against a business:
- the business owed you a duty of care
- That this duty was breached
- That because of this breach, your injuries were caused
What does it mean that the business has a duty of care towards you?
Any business that opens its door to receive its customers has a duty to offer you a safe environment. The courts understand that avoiding absolutely all possible accidents would be overly burdensome for any business. But the courts also expect that businesses will reasonably provide a standard of care.
A business can accomplish this by having and following procedures to regularly inspect the premises for anything that may cause harm to customers. The premises must be clean and if at some point the floors are wet, signs must be placed accordingly.
When is this duty of care breached?
Let’s say you slipped and fell because the floor was wet. The business may have breached the duty of care because they did not dry the floor when they noticed the spill. Or if there was a situation that prevented them from drying the floor, they should have placed warning signs that were clear enough for anyone to see. Or maybe someone did notice there was water on the floor and intended to clean it but never got around to it.
How do you prove that it was the breach that caused your injuries?
In order to recover your health due to your injuries, you may have incurred medical bills, pain, and suffering, a loss to your earning capacity, have lost your ability to enjoy life, and more. Yet, it is not enough to show that you have unpaid medical bills, for example. You must prove that it was the hazard in the store that caused your injuries and not your high heels, the fact that you were texting while walking, or anything else that was under your control.
If you have suffered an injury due to a hazard within a business, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. While you set up your initial consultation, you can read more here and get your questions answered.