purchase, george & murphey.
purchase, george & murphey.
Wet floors are, at times, inevitable in stores, restaurants and other public places—customers spill drinks and track snow and ice in from outside, and most establishments regularly clean their floors using slippery wax or water. Despite this, property owners and their agents (i.e., management or employees) are required to take reasonable precautions to make sure that wet floors do not cause their customers or invited guests to sustain injuries. The required “reasonable precautions” will vary based upon the circumstances of the case—for example, floor mats designed to catch ice and snow as customers enter the store or yellow warning signs placed next to a spilled beverage may be sufficient to protect customers in some cases.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our experienced slip and fall accident lawyers understand that establishing your right to compensation after falling on a wet floor can be complicated. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate every single case in order to find all available evidence that will support your claim. We will also work tirelessly to refute the defense tactics that the property owner will use to avoid financial responsibility for your injuries.
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Almost every claim for compensation in slip and fall accident cases caused by wet floors will turn upon whether the property owner or store management was negligent in failing to warn of the danger posed by a wet surface. Establishing that the property owner (or store management, as agent for the owner) was negligent requires establishing that:
Additionally, you must be able to prove that:
Even if the floor was wet when you fell, and no visible warning signs were present, the property owner may argue that you do not have the right to recover compensation because the owner or management was not aware that the floor was wet, so could not have placed proper warning signs or taken other steps to dry the floor. In other cases, the property owner may argue that reasonable warnings were in place and that your own negligence caused the fall.
Gathering evidence immediately after a slip and fall accident caused by wet floors can be critical to recovering compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, if your injuries were severe, documenting the scene may be the furthest thing from your mind. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, including:
If you are able to do so, take photos and videos of the accident scene with your smartphone to capture evidence of the wet floors, and the location of any warning signs (or lack of warnings). Eyewitness testimony can also be important to establish that the wet conditions existed or that no warning signs were present.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our skilled slip and fall accident lawyers will put in the work necessary to maximize the compensation award in your case. For example, even if there was a warning sign present, that sign must have been sufficient to warn you of the danger. That means that the location of the sign itself can be critical to establishing whether it warned where the wet spot on the floor was located—a sign placed five feet away from a wet patch on the floor would not adequately tell you which location to avoid.
Establishing liability after you have suffered injuries in a wet floor slip and fall accident can be challenging, and you need an experienced lawyer on your side to investigate and advocate on your behalf. Call our offices or fill out this online form, to schedule a free consultation with our experienced Erie, PA slip and fall accident lawyers today. For your convenience, we have three office locations located at 2525 W.26th St., Erie, PA 16506, 310 Chestnut St., Suite 111, Meadville, PA 16335 (in the Masonic Building) and 68 East Main Street, North East, PA 16428.
How can my own negligence impact my right to compensation in a wet floor slip and fall accident case? +
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence system, which means that you can still recover compensation so long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident. If you were found to be partially responsible, however, your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to the extent of your own negligence. For example, if you were found to be 25 percent responsible for the accident and were awarded $100,000, your compensation award would be reduced by 25 percent, to $75,000.
How can an experienced lawyer prove how long the wet condition existed as evidence that the owner should have placed a warning or dried the floor? +
This element can be one of the more difficult pieces to establish. However, in this day and age, most stores, restaurant, and places of business have security cameras installed to protect employees and the business itself. We can obtain this video footage and examine it for evidence of the wet floor. We can also interview employees and other witnesses to determine whether eyewitness testimony can be useful in establishing that the condition had existed for a sufficiently long period of time so that the owner should have taken steps to make the area safe.
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