When landlords and business owners fail to remove obvious hazards on their properties – like a patch of wet floor or a partially-damaged walkway – customers and other legal visitors can fall and become injured. In the field of personal injury law, this is known as a slip and fall accident.
While it may sound relatively harmless, the injuries that some people sustain after a slip, trip and fall accident can be catastrophic, ranging from paralyzing spinal cord damage to traumatic brain injuries. Recently, our New Orleans slip and fall attorneys took on a client who claimed that a local Dollar Tree was liable for damages, after he fell in the store and sustained serious injuries.
As of October 12th, our client has now filed an injury claim in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, against the chain’s parent company, Dollar Tree Stores Inc. The claim is that the employees of Dollar Tree on General De Gaulle Drive were negligent, and failed to properly clean a substance that was left on the ground. Representing the plaintiff is our award-winning personal injury attorney Justin M. Chopin, who is also the owner and managing attorney of The Chopin Law Firm LLC.
Defining the Duty of Reasonable Care in Premises Liability
Property owners have what is known as a “duty of reasonable care” towards those who visit their premises. This means they have a duty to maintain their building at all times, and ensure it is reasonably safe for the public. Additionally, under the Louisiana Civil Code Article 2317, employers are responsible for damage “caused by the act of persons for which [they] are answerable.” However, this can only be proven to be negligence if the owner or custodian should have known that there was a vice or defect that could cause harm.
This is partly what makes slip and fall accident cases so complex: You must be able to establish that the defendant had a clear prior knowledge of the hazard in question. While leaving a substance spilled on the floor or failing to properly dry a patch of tile can indeed cause serious injury, you can only claim negligence if there is evidence that the property owner knew and still failed to resolve the problem.
In our most recent case, our client has claimed exactly that, and only time will tell what outcome the courts deliver on this claim of negligence.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in New Orleans, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today at (504) 475-2429 for a free consultation!