Why you should consult an attorney for a slip and fall accident
Posted July 17th, 2014 by Anthony Carbone, PC.
It is a fact. Every commercial business bears responsibility for keeping its premises safe. This can include ensuring the floors are free from debris and slippery substances. It might also mean that the business has the duty to keep pathways and sidewalks clear. Damages are ultimately recoverable from anyone who is deemed neglectful of keeping their premises safe. In simple terms, if an injury occurs because a business failed to take reasonable care of their property, there may be a case against them. Of course, there is the issue of what the courts consider reasonable care.
A few years ago, Jersey City resident Jacquelin Arroyo was walking outside a convenience store, when she slipped and fell on a discarded phone card. Jacquelin was on the sidewalk, by the store’s entrance. She injured her knee in the fall. The convenience store was located out of town. However, it might have easily been a business on Central Avenue or John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
The store kept phone cards for sale by the register, located close to the exit door. Jacquelin’s lawsuit claimed that the establishment was responsible for the presence of the plastic card on the sidewalk. After all, it seemed reasonable that the store should have foreseen the danger it created by putting the phone cards by the door. Patrons could be expected to take the cards out of the store, use them, and discard them. This was the basic theory behind Ms. Arroyo’s lawsuit.
It was unknown how long the discarded card was on the ground. This became a crucial piece of information. The store manager testified concerning the number of times the front of the store was swept for all types of debris. According to the store manager, there was a possibility the area was cleaned immediately before Jacquelin slipped and fell on the phone card. Ultimately the court rejected the case. Jacquelin’s attorneys were unable to prove that the “phone card that caused the slip and fall was present for an unreasonable amount of time.”
Reasonable care is an important part of any case that involves a slip and fall accident. It can relate to a newly mopped wet floor. It is often a part of weather related cases. If someone slips and falls on ice, it may be important to know how long the dangerous condition existed.
It is extremely important to seek the advice of an attorney in any case involving a slip and fall accident. A report should be made at the accident location informing the entity of the incident. With today’s technology, it is easy to use a cell phone to photograph the dangerous conditions. If an attorney’s office is consulted in time, they may be able to ensure that any videos of the accident scene are preserved.
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone have been handing personal injury claims involving slip and fall accidents for over 25 years. If you have been involved in this type of accident, please contact us or call 201-963-6000 for an immediate and free consultation.