Retail Store Injuries
Shopping is a favorite pastime of native Floridians and tourists alike. But a credit hangover isn’t the only risk. Retail store injuries occur every day – from slip-and-falls to third-party assaults. Talking with a Fort Lauderdale retail store injury lawyer who can explain your rights is essential to obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Here in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, we’ve got Las Olas Boulevard (aka – the “style mile”) packed with independent boutiques, as well as Sawgrass Mills, The Galleria, Westfield Broward and the Swap Shop, one of the largest flea markets in South Florida.
As premises liability lawyers with the Ansara Law Firm can explain, visitors to these venues are owed the highest duty of care from property owners. We work to help victims of retail store injuries consider the viability of their case and weigh their legal options.Duty Owed to Business Invitees
Premises liability in Florida – and the duty of care owed by the land owner to others on site – is predicated on the visitor’s status. That means the courts are going to look at the reason why the person was there. For example, a person who is trespassing is owed far less protection than someone who is on site lawfully by invitation and for the benefit of the property owner.
In the case of customers who visit stores, boutiques, shops and retail outlets, they are there for the benefit of the business. They are considered business invitees, which means they are invited to enter or remain on the property for a reason directly or indirectly connected with the business dealings of the possessor of the land.
This does not mean the store is responsible to guarantee customers’ safety, as the retail store injury attorneys at our Fort Lauderdale firm recognize. Not every injury that occurs on site will be compensable. What it does mean is that the owner/ possessor must maintain the site in a reasonably safe condition. Owners must also warn patrons of possible dangers and correct them in a manner that is reasonably expedient.
It’s important if you suffer a retail store injury not to be embarrassed or in a rush to leave. There is a solid chance the reason you were injured was a result of some failure by the store or management to rectify an unsafe condition. Reporting the incident and seeking medical attention is important to ensuring your well-being, and also creating a paper trail to help bolster your claim for future damages.Claims Against Retail Stores
Injury claims against Florida retail stores can stem from countless different scenarios, but a few of the common fact patterns our retail store injury lawyers in Fort Lauderdale have noted include:
- Slip-and-fall injuries. These can occur in the food court or any store where a spill or slippery condition is not promptly rectified. Rainwater tracked in from outside can pose a serious risk if it isn’t addressed (many stores use professional-grade mats with rubber backing, in addition to wet floor signs to warn of potential slippery conditions). If the incident involves a transitory foreign substance, F.S. 768.0755 will apply, requiring plaintiff prove retailer had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger and failed to remedy it or warn about it.
- Aisle obstructions. Many clothing stores try to jam pack as much merchandise onto a floor as they can. But this often results in customers not being able to safely navigate the aisles. It could also block one’s view of potential hazards in the walkway.
- Fire/ smoke/ electrocution. Exposed wires, poorly functioning smoke detectors and other potential hazards can lead to the risk of burns, smoke inhalation or electrocution. These dangers are often latent and not obvious to consumers, and stores and property owners have a responsibility to protect against them.
- Third-party attack. Although courts are generally reticent to hold one party accountable for the wrongdoing of another, there can be exceptions when property owners fail to protect customers from criminal attacks that may be foreseeable. An example might be the failure to adequately light a parking lot where shoppers will be returning to vehicles with numerous bags or failing to provide enough security to patrol the grounds.
Any one of these scenarios can result in serious and debilitating injuries. You should not have to grapple with that on your own. The Fort Lauderdale retail store injury attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm are ready to answer your questions and help you determine the best course of action.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Fort Lauderdale retail store accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or (954) 761-3641.