Have you or someone you know been injured in a slip and fall accident in Louisiana? If the property owner or the store’s management was at fault — even partially at fault — you are entitled to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. Compensation is your right under the law!
The most common type of slip and fall accident involves some sort of obstruction or hazardous condition on or near the floor. This is unlawful under Louisiana law and store owners and merchants can and should be held to account for their wrongful failure to keep their retail stores safe and free from hazards. The duties owed by store owners to customers lawfully visiting their businesses is established by statute. Under Louisiana law, a merchant or store owner is required to “… exercise reasonable care to keep his aisles, passageways, and floors in a reasonably safe condition.” La. R.S. § 9:2800.6. The statute further requires that a victim of a slip and fall accident must show that the hazardous condition:
- Presented an unreasonable risk of harm and that risk was reasonably foreseeable
- Was either created or was known, through actual or constructive notice, by the merchant prior to the accident and
- The merchant failed to exercise reasonable care
“Constructive notice” means that the hazardous condition “… existed for such a period of time that it would have been discovered if the merchant had exercised reasonable care.” La. R.S. 9:2800.6(C).
Hiring dedicated Louisiana personal injury lawyers is essential for success in your lawsuit. Experienced lawyers know how to ferret out the types of facts that will prove your case. Examples of fact questions to explore include the following:
- What was the hazardous condition and where did it come from?
- How long was the hazardous condition in existence?
- Was the condition in a high-traffic area of the store?
- Had the particular condition occurred before the accident and how many times?
- Had repair efforts been made or were repair efforts underway at the time of the accident?
- Were other victims injured by the same or similar condition?
- What were the inspection protocols for the store?
- Would the condition have been noticed by a routine walk-around or walk-through of the store?
- Did any store employee see the condition?
- Was the condition easily visible, like a brightly colored liquid?
- And more
A good example of a successful case comes from Nelson v. Southeast Food, Inc., 892 So.2d 790 (La.App. 2005). In that case, the victim was shopping at a County Market grocery store in Monroe. She was injured when she slipped in a pool of water that had come up out of a floor drain near a refrigerated display unit in the dairy section. Eventually this water created an oval-shaped pool about 10 feet long and about three feet wide. Video showed that, as the pool of water was growing, store customers were seen walking around and stepping over the water. Furthermore, the water was near the employee break room where it would be expected that employees would have seen the pool. The victim testified that, just after her fall, an employee said to her, “Baby, I should have told you it was water on the floor.” The court held that these facts and others were sufficient to show that the store knew of the hazardous condition and that the store should have taken reasonable actions to protect its customers. The store did not take reasonable steps, and a jury verdict was rendered for the victim.
As can be seen, slip and fall cases are fact-intensive. That is why you need experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys.
Contact Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers Today
For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have proven experience with many types of personal injury cases especially slip and fall accidents and have helped many Louisiana citizens receive the compensation to which they were entitled. Contact us by phone by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our online appointment page.