You can slip and fall on any premises, especially one as large as the Home Depot. The retailer has adopted a warehouse-style shopping experience that also contributes to accidents. Warehouses are expansive, and it is easy to suffer an injury through no fault of your own. Home Depot has over two thousand stores; each store is over 100,000 square, which equals a lot of space for many hazards.
Home Depot is well aware of the inherent dangers on its premises, and it will need to take reasonable care to prevent injuries, regardless of how ample the space is. When you slip and fall at a Home Depot, you must contact a Philadelphia premises liability lawyer to protect you. The retailer has lawyers and insurance policies in place to prevent paying injury victims.
You need to prove negligence
You need a premises liability lawyer in Philadelphia to investigate your incident and prove to the court that Home Depot was negligent and the cause of your ailments. Many dangerous conditions are present in Home Depot stores, especially since they are so vast. A slip and fall lawyer will need to prove a dangerous condition on the premises. The Home Depot created the hazardous situation or did not eliminate the risk for the condition when they became aware of it. The final element to prove is that you suffered an injury from the negligent actions and dangerous situation.
Some examples of dangerous conditions you will encounter at Home Depot include:
- Wet floors
- Loose wires
- Slippery substances like chemicals or paint on the floor
- Uneven flooring
- Unattended forklifts
Home Depot must keep the store clean, and it is not uncommon to see a wet or slippery floor. However, if an employee was mopping the floor, they must place a “wet floor” sign to warn customers. Conversely, they can also dry the floor immediately, so no one slips.
Home Depot reasonable actions
The primary element you need for a Home Depot slip and fall is the retailer did not act reasonably to prevent injury and death. A Home Depot lawyer will argue that the company took reasonable steps to avoid the situation and that you were the cause of your injuries. The law gives stores a grace period to eliminate dangers. Suppose another customer spills a drink and you slip within seconds of the spill, the Home Depot can avoid liability. In comparison, if the spill was there for over an hour and you fell, the company is liable because it did not act reasonably. You will need a Philadelphia premises liability lawyer to investigate and prove the following:
- The amount of time Home Depot addressed the incident
- If the store did regular inspections
- How much time passes between each inspection
- If there were warning signs
- If employees should have noticed the danger
These elements will be critical to your slip and fall investigation, and proving or disproving them is essential to show that Home Depot did not act reasonably to prevent injuries.
Your reasonable actions
While the company must act reasonably, customers also have some responsibility. Home Depot lawyers will argue you did not act reasonably and therefore were the cause of your injury. The key is to have a case that shows you were not careless in your actions. Even partial fault is detrimental to your lawsuit. The defense will argue you were not reasonable in your activities and that they should not compensate you. Most often, they will use one of these strategies:
- The hazards were inherently obvious, and any reasonable person would have seen and avoided it
- You were acting inappropriately or were intoxicated
- You were in an off-limits area of the store
- There were warning signs around the hazard, and you ignored them
Even if these statements are untrue, they are the most common defense Home Depot will use to deny a claim.
Kwartler Manus LLC is here for you
Home Depot tends to settle cases out of court, but there is always the possibility that you will go to trial. The company will offer lower settlements than you need because they do not feel you deserve any more. The company will also introduce a non-disclosure agreement when you reach a settlement agreement. You will need a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer for many reasons when you suffer an injury at Home Depot. Kwartler Manus has the experience you need to get through this challenging time; contact us at (267) 457-5570 to get started.