When grocery store customers leave a grocery store, they are probably pushing a shopping cart full of groceries to their cars. If the parking lot is not properly maintained and has a dangerous tripping hazard, such as a pothole, customers may step in the pothole, lose their balance, trip and fall. As a result of the fall, customers may sustain serious injuries. With the cart in front of them, it can be hard for customers to see and avoid the pothole.
In such a situation, the grocery store would normally be the party responsible for customer's injuries because it did not keep its parking lot free of a dangerous tripping condition, i.e., the pothole. However, there are other parties that may also be responsible, such as a company that maintains the parking lot. For example, the grocery store may hire a company to maintain the parking lot; therefore, that company would be responsible for fixing the pothole in the parking lot.
Another party that may be responsible for the customer’s injuries as a result of the trip and fall accident is the landlord of the property. A grocery store located in a shopping plaza is likely a tenant renting the space from the shopping plaza owner. If the lease between the plaza owner and grocery store states that the landlord is responsible for the parking lot, then the landlord would be responsible for fixing the pothole in the parking lot that caused the customer to fall.
Regardless of who the responsible party is in the situation, the injured customer still has to prove constructive or actual notice. To learn more about constructive notice, click here: Proving Notice in a Pennsylvania Slip-Trip-Fall Accident Case
Like proving notice against a grocery store, documents such as incident reports are also very important in proving notice against other parties. Click here to read about the importance of incident reports: Incident Or Accident Reports Are Important In Establishing A Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Accident Case
The landlord could have received an incident report from the grocery store from an earlier fall informing the landlord that the parking lot needs repair. Other documents, such as maintenance request logs, can also be useful. For example, there may be a maintenance request log 6 months prior to the customer’s trip and fall accident that shows the maintenance company received a maintenance request from the grocery store that the parking lot needs repair due to the pothole. Both of these pieces of evidence prove that the landlord or the maintenance company had actual notice of the pothole in the parking lot prior to the customer’s trip and fall accident and failed to fix it.
If you or a loved one tripped and fell due to a dangerous tripping hazard at a grocery store, parking lot, hotel, etc., feel free to contact the personal injury lawyers at White and Williams. Dan O’Brien and his team have helped numerous trip and fall accident victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call for a FREE CONSULTATION @ 877.944.8396