The Difficulty of Grocery Store Slip and Fall Cases
Texas Grocery Store Slip and Falls
Grocery store slip and fall accidents are often difficult cases to win in Texas. We receive calls about them quite often in Houston. Just because you fall down and get hurt on someone’s property does not mean they are liable. As in any personal injury case in Texas, you must prove that the landowner was negligent and that the owner’s negligence caused you to fall.
Spills on the floor tend to be a common cause of grocery store slip and fall accidents. The problem we face as slip and fall lawyers is trying to prove exactly how the spill got there. The injured party always carries the burden of proof in these cases. This means that the attorney for the injured person must prove:
- there was a dangerous condition (i.e. a spill);
- the landowner (and/or his employees) knew or should have known of the condition, and:
- the owner failed to act as an ordinary prudent person in cleaning it up.
Proving Knowledge Can Be Challenging
In these cases, you can either prove actual knowledge by the store and/or its employees or you can prove the condition was there long enough they should have known. Neither one of those is particularly easy. Sometimes it can be done through another witness who saw the spill–but those rarely come forward. Occasionally an employee will admit to the injured person they knew of it by saying something like “I was just about to clean it up.” But most are trained to keep quiet. In cases involving major corporations such as a Walmart slip and fall case, the companies know how to vigorously defend these claims by denying knowledge.
Using Store Video to Prove Knowledge
Proving knowledge can also be done by video if the store had video cameras in place. However, videos are often “recycled” in accordance with 30-day-or-less recycling policies set by the store. Thus, if the injured person does not know to hire a Houston premises liability attorney fast, the evidence will be long gone by the time of trial. This is why you need to consult an attorney about your legal rights promptly after an injury. The longer you wait, the harder it is to locate witnesses and evidence.