If you’ve been injured in a fall due to a wet floor, you are in good company. Falls account for more than 8 million hospital emergency room visits each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Of course, this may not make you feel better if you’re in pain and facing high medical bills as a result of your injury.
Fortunately, you may qualify for damages if your fall happened in a place of business. Let’s look at this situation more closely using a recent question from one of our readers: “Can I sue a retail store for not cleaning up the wet floor that caused me to fall and injure my knees? If so, how do I do it?”
Answer: If a lawyer reviews your situation and says you have a case, then yes, absolutely!
What Will A Personal Injury Lawyer Ask?
It is smart to prepare for your consultation ahead of time. Jot down answers to the following questions so you can move through the meeting efficiently:
- First, they’ll want to learn about the circumstances of your injury. When, where, and how did your injury occur? Who saw what happened when you slipped on the wet floor? This includes any witnesses of the event and police or EMTs who may have arrived on the scene afterward.
- Second, they’ll want to learn if you had to go to the hospital or urgent care facility. What did the doctors or nurses say about your injury and expected recovery timeline? Do you have records and contact information for any healthcare providers who treated you?
- Third, they’ll want to learn how the injury has affected your life and work. Have you missed several days or weeks at your place of employment? Did you have to skip a vacation or hire someone to do household tasks or provide childcare? How are you coping overall?
- Finally, they’ll want to know if you’ve been contacted by the store’s insurance provider or anyone else. Who? What did you discuss?
To win a personal injury case, your attorney will have to prove that negligence on the part of the retail store is what directly led to your injury. The lawyer will need to prove all the following happened because of the store’s wet floor:
- You suffered damages
- The store had a reasonable duty to keep you safe from falls
- They breached this duty
- That the store’s negligent actions caused your injury (i.e., someone should have mopped up the wet floor to prevent customer injuries)
How Can a Lawyer Prove a Wet Floor Equals Negligence?
To prove damages, breach of duty, and causation, it helps to have as much evidence as possible for your attorney to review. During your initial consultation with a person injury lawyer, they’ll likely ask about the following items. They do this because having access to this kind of evidence makes it more likely you have a case. Here are some questions a good personal injury lawyer will ask during your initial consultation:
- Is there a police report?
- Was there a 911 call?
- Are there photos of the wet floor taken at the scene?
- Do you have any physical evidence from the event (such as ripped clothing, jewelry, shoes)?
- Have you saved all relevant medical records? Is there imaging of your injury, including photos, MRIs, CT scans, X-rays?
- Can I see your medical bills and/or receipts?
- Where there any prescriptions needed as a result of your injury? What was the price of these?
- Were you told you’ll need physical therapy or surgeries? What are the expected costs?
- Do you have documentation of missed work and pay stubs to show lost wages?
- Can you gather and send me your health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance information?
- What is the contact info for any witnesses of the injury/accident? (The lawyer will need to gather written statements from them.)
- Do you have a record of any correspondence/interaction you have had with the responsible party or their insurer?
Will The Store Go Out of Business If I Sue Over a Wet Floor?
The short answer is no. Businesses plan for accidents. Owners know they are responsible for injuries that occur on their property and purchase insurance to cover them. Also, laws are designed to ensure property owners regularly inspect their premises for any unsafe conditions. If they do not do so, your lawsuit may change their ways.
Businesses have a duty to warn people if there is a situation that might cause a fall. That is why it is so common to see signs in public spaces warning of wet floors.
How Much Will A Personal Injury Lawyer Consult Cost?
It will cost you nothing. Furthermore, if this reader chooses to move forward with their case by suing the retail store, they’ll only pay their lawyer if they win the case. It’s true: Not only can a personal injury lawyer help you figure out if you have a case, but they work on contingency. They don’t get any payment unless you win and collect damages.
If you are ready to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in slip-and-fall cases, click below to get connected to a professional in our network today. You deserve expert help!
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online personal injury case evaluation now!
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.