When a customer suffers an injury in a store, they may be able to recover damages from the owner to help with their medical bills and pain and suffering. Is a store liable for a customer injury? A Chicago premises liability injury lawyer can help victims understand their options and recover damages.
The Law: Is a Store Liable for a Customer Injury?
Retail store owners and restaurants are obligated to take reasonable precautions to ensure that customers and visitors are not injured on their property, just like all property owners and operators. If a customer is injured due to unsafe conditions in the store or restaurant, the owner or operator may be liable in a premises liability lawsuit.
Customers of retail stores and restaurants are considered invitees and, as such, owners and operators must utilize reasonable and ordinary care to ensure that the store is safe for its customers. Retail store and restaurant owners should:
- conduct regular inspections of the property
- correct any hazardous conditions
- warn customers of potential hazards
If a store owner fails to follow any of these steps and a customer suffers an injury on their premises, the owner may be negligent. Their failure to inspect the property could lead to a build up of ice in the winter that may result in slip and fall injuries. Similarly, if owners know or should have known about unsafe steps or uneven flooring and fail to correct it, they may be liable for the resulting injuries. Anyone asking themselves – Is a store liable for a customer injury? – should consult a premises liability attorney. An attorney can help them look at the facts to determine whether the property owner failed to fulfill any of his or her duties.
Is a store liable for a customer injury when an employee is at fault? The failure to train employees on how to maintain safe property conditions could result in vicarious liability for any accidents or injuries sustained by customers of the store or restaurant. For instance, retailers are obligated to train their employees to use care when displaying merchandise and to follow safety standards when operating machinery to stack and retrieve merchandise. If a customer is injured by failing merchandise, the store owner could be liable if employees were not properly trained.
Similarly, if a restaurant owner does not adequately train employees on safe food handling and preparation techniques and a patron becomes ill from food poisoning, the restaurant owner or operator could be liable for the patron’s injuries.
Patrons that suffer an injury in a store or restaurant can suffer severe medical issues. They need extensive medical care or physical therapy to regain their health. When patrons suffer serious injuries in a store, they may be able to recover damage to help with medical bills, pain and suffering, and possibly lost wages. A slip and fall lawyer can advise injured customers about what damages they may be able to recover.
Issues of premises liability in retail stores and restaurants, as well as theories of vicarious liability, are complex legal issues that are highly dependent on the particular facts of the accident and/or injury. The Chicago premises liability attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on complex accident and injury lawsuits, including those involving customer injuries.
If you were injured while in a store or restaurant and you are asking, “Is a store liable for a customer injury?”, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago premises liability attorneys.