Stores such as grocery stores, shopping malls, bars/restaurants, and other retail stores can be held liable for various accidents. The most common type of accident is a fall accident (slip and fall or trip and fall). However, there are other types of accidents and mishaps which subject these types of businesses to liability. Stores can be held liable for muggings, assaults and other criminal activities which lead to injury. These types of cases are known as negligent security cases.
In addition, stores can be held liable for less common accidents and injuries, such as stairway accidents or merchandise accidents (i.e., merchandise falls from a shelf). In addition, stores may have construction work performed, and if the work is performed negligently and causes injury, the store and/or construction company may be held liable.
How is Negligence Defined in Pennsylvania?
Determining fault or liability in Pennsylvania store accident cases depends on the evidence and whether there is evidence which shows that the at-fault party failed to do something that an ordinary person would have done, or did something no ordinary person would have done in the same situation. Basically, negligence is defined from the standpoint of an ordinary, reasonable person, or what would or should have been done differently.
Notice – What The Store Knew & When
In Pennsylvania store accident/injury cases, the injured party must prove either actual or constructive notice. In fact, the crux of any store accident/injury case, whether it’s a negligent security case or a fall accident case, is proving that the store knew about the problem at some time prior to the accident; this is actual notice. If the store didn’t actually know about the problem, then there may be evidence to suggest that the store should have known about it; this is constructive notice.
Proving Fault & Liability
In store accident cases, proving negligence will depend on the nature and extent of the evidence and will therefore vary from case to case. The key is a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident or incident. For a slip and fall accident due to water on the floor, it will be crucial to determine why water accumulated on the floor and where it was coming from. Figuring out these details can help to establish that the store either knew about the problem beforehand or the very least, should have known about it.
If you would like to discuss a potential store accident case with one of our lawyers, please call our office at Click To Call for a free consultation.
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