As a store owner, you live in fear of the day when someone will become injured in your store and threaten to sue you. You feel some sympathy for them and their injury, but you know it could be expensive and you may not agree that it is your fault that they were injured.
This can all get very complicated, and there are a lot of different things you want to keep in mind at this time. It’s important to understand exactly what your obligations are.
Should you have known about the dangerous condition?
The person who was injured is likely going to say that you did not repair the dangerous condition that caused their injury. This could be something as simple as a wet floor. They slipped and fell, and they may claim that you needed to clean the floor or at least put up a sign warning them that it was wet.
And this is true, in a case where you knew that the dangerous condition existed, but did you actually know that? The person may argue that you should have known, but this isn’t always the case. For instance, if the spill that caused the wet floor had just happened, there’s absolutely no way that you or one of your employees could have immediately discovered and fixed that condition.
In a situation like this, there’s a time requirement. If the condition existed for a substantial amount of time, the injured party may be able to successfully argue that you should have known, but you can defend yourself if it’s clear that you were not acting negligently because you had no idea that there was a problem and you didn’t do anything to cause that problem.
If you do end up facing a lawsuit, be sure you know exactly what to do to protect yourself and your business.