Thousands of Hawaii residents are injured in slip-and-fall accidents each year, and many of them suffer their injuries while they are shopping in supermarkets, convenience stores or big-box retail outlets. Modern stores usually have wide and well-lit aisles and floors made out of materials that are designed to prevent slipping, but liquid spills or other mishaps can make shopping in them treacherous. When accidents occur because a store failed to address a safety issue that it knew about or should have known about, victims can file premises liability lawsuits to recover damages.
Purchase not required
People who are hurt while shopping may be entitled to compensation even if their injuries are not serious, and they can sue the store where the slip-and-fall accident took place even if they did not purchase anything. Store owners or operators have a duty of care to prevent accidents and injuries whenever possible, and that duty extends to visitors as well as customers. While most shopping-related slip-and-fall accidents take place inside stores, shoppers can also pursue legal remedies if they are injured outside a store in an area the store has control over. This includes parking lots and loading bays.
Most slip-and-fall claims are settled
The vast majority of premises liability lawsuits are settled long before they go to court. Large retail chains deal with thousands of these claims each year, and they have teams of attorneys on hand to negotiate with injured customers. Retailers do not like going to court because they know juries have a tendency to be generous when the plaintiff in a personal injury case suffered serious injuries and the defendant has deep pockets. In 2013, a jury in Las Vegas awarded a woman who fell and injured herself in a home improvement store $13 million.
Premises liability lawsuits
Retail store owners and operators are expected to do all that they reasonably can to prevent accidents, and, and they can be sued by shoppers who suffer injuries when they fail to meet this duty. Large retail chains deal with thousands of slip-and-fall claims each year, and the vast majority of them are settled at the negotiating table before the parties go to court.