Retail Store Liability
There are numerous ways that people may get hurt in retail stores in Texas, including falling merchandise, slip and falls, and injuries caused by negligent employees. Retail stores that invite the public onto their property for commercial purposes owe a duty of care to customers. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. If you are hurt in a Dallas store, you can enlist an attorney at Feizy Law Office to help explore your options and assert your rights.Holding Negligent Retail Stores Accountable for Damages
The first issue to be assessed when looking at whether you have a case is your legal status at the store. There are three classes of visitors to property, and a property owner or occupier owes different duties to each: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. A customer at a retail store is an invitee. These are people who enter property with the owner's permission and for a goal connected to the owner's business that may result in a mutual benefit. The owner or occupier must use ordinary care to make the property reasonably safe for invitees. If you are a customer, you can potentially hold a retail store liable by showing that a reasonable owner would have had knowledge of whatever dangerous condition caused the accident.
Less care is owed to trespassers and licensees in Texas. If you trespass in a retail store, the store's only duty of care towards you is to avoid injuring you by intentional or willful actions. Licensees are those who have the owner's permission to come into the store, but they are not invited there. The owner must warn the licensee of any actual hidden dangers known to the owner.
If you are a customer who has been injured in a retail store, these are generally the elements that you must prove:
- The store had actual or constructive knowledge of a condition posing an unreasonable risk of harm;
- The store did not exercise reasonable care to reduce the risk of injury;
- The store's failure to use reasonable care was the legal cause of your injuries; and
- You incurred actual damages.
For example, if you slip and fall on a floor that has just been mopped, you will need to prove that the store knew there was an unreasonable risk that a customer would fall and failed to put up orange cones or warning signs.
The most complex aspect of many retail store premises liability cases is proving that an owner knew or should have known of a condition that posed an unreasonable risk of harm. The more transient the condition to cause the accident, such as spilled liquid, the more difficult it is to prove that store employees knew or should have known about it.
In some cases, the store may argue that you are partially or fully to blame for your injuries. Since Texas follows the rule of comparative negligence, the jury may assign a percentage of fault to each party alleged to be at fault, and the plaintiff's recoverable damages will be reduced by his or her degree of fault.Enlist a Premises Liability Attorney in Dallas to Pursue Compensation
If you are a customer who is injured in a store, you should take pictures documenting whatever you believe caused your harm. In some cases, stores only save surveillance tapes for a short time, and memories may fade. It is important to consult your own attorney before speaking to the store's insurance adjustor. An experienced injury lawyer at Feizy Law Office can help residents of Dallas and the surrounding area aggressively pursue compensation. Call us at (214) 651-8686 or complete our online form to set up a free appointment. We also represent injured individuals in other Texas cities, including Fort Worth, Irving, Arlington, Garland, and Plano.