Holding a Business Responsible
In Indiana, holding a business responsible depends upon proving “fault” of the landowner or property manager. After all, there is no such as thing as a landowner or business owing a duty to insure the customer’s safety while on their property.
Thus, proving “fault” depends upon the level of care that is owed to you while on another’s property. Your status on the land is always determinative of the type of care the landowner owes you.
For example, trespassers are not owed many protections from a landowner – only the duty to intentionally or willfully refrain from harming him.
But, customers and people invited on the land are owed the highest duty of care by a landowner, store, business or restaurant – the duty of “reasonable care” to protect the customer from foreseeable dangers.
Here, at Shaw Law, we maintain that it is never “reasonable” to do anything that isn’t the safest possible action by a landowner.
A premises owner will be held liable if he knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about the potentially dangerous condition by the condition existing for such a length of time that it would have been discovered in time to prevent the injury.
Reasonable inspections are required under Indiana law by a careful landowner, business, store or restaurant to discovery potentially dangerous conditions.
Also, a duty exists to remove natural accumulations of ice and snow by a business landowner, store or restaurant under Indiana law.
Proving fault can be a difficult endeavor and an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer can assist you if you have been severely hurt in an incident you believe to be the fault of a property manager, owner, or business owner who failed to remove or fix a dangerous condition. You might not know whether or not you have a potential claim or lawsuit until you’ve sat down with an Indiana slip and fall lawyer.
Do I Have Grounds for a Claim?
A business or a store is only liable to customers and invited persons for a slip and fall accident on its property if the business or store was negligent and if the negligence directly ributed to the cause of the accident. Falling in a store does not necessarily mean you have legal grounds to successfully pursue a slip and fall injury case.
There must have been an “unsafe condition” which the property owner knew about and failed to take action or should have known but failed to warn you about. You must prove that the company knew or should have known about that unsafe condition and that the unsafe condition directly contributed to your slip and fall injury.
A very important question in these business liability cases is who can you sue. The nature of a claim’s negligence will dictate who you can sue.
Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
If the store owner runs the property, then the only potential defendant is the store owner. However, many store owners lease the property, so you might also have a claim against a property owner or a landlord.
If you slip and fall because of a structural issue with the building, your claim for slip and fall injury damages is most likely against the property owner or the landlord. A common structural issue might include a water leak.
It is of vital importance that you hire an experienced slip and fall attorney who has reviewed hundreds of leases and can determine the appropriate responsible party.
If you slipped because of something that the tenant or the store owner did or didn’t do, then the claim might be against the store owner only. There are many important issues to consider in a business negligence slip and fall injury case, such as whether the floor was unreasonable slippery, why it was slippery, whether there were warnings about the slippery condition, and whether the landlord or store owner should have known through regular maintenance and review or did know about the condition and failed to take action.
Showing Cause in Slip and Fall Cases
You must be able to show that the property owner was responsible for the dangerous condition. Lack of warning signs when the property owner knew or should have known of the defective unsafe condition of his land is another way to successfully pursue a claim.
Warning signs are often used to call pedestrian attention to issues in and around a business facility.
Since sometimes slippery conditions are unavoidable (like in an ice and snowy convenience store where customers can track in the wetness), a reasonableness standard in a negligence case can require that the property owner should have put up a warning sign about the condition.
Putting up a warning in and of itself does not completely relieve a defendant from liability. However, it may be evidence of lack of negligence.
In all of these cases, it is often overwhelming to pursue “fault” on your own and try to recover medical compensation and other damages tied to your slip and fall injury while you are focused on recovery.
You need the support of an experienced Indiana slip and fall injury lawyer to assist you with full and fair recovery of compensation. There are so many different unique factors to consider in an Indiana slip and fall injury case, and only an experienced lawyer who’s been concentrating in the slip and fall area for many decades can help you.
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