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Who may I sue after a slip and fall accident in a retail store?

A trip or fall in a retail store may require legal action to recover. Before filing a lawsuit, however, you may need to discover the owner of the establishment where the accident occurred.

As noted on the California Courts website, another business or a corporation may own the premises. If, for example, a fall occurred in a store owned by a single person who also manages it, you may sue the business. If the establishment belongs to a large corporation that owns several retail chains, you may sue the corporation.

How may I find the owner of a business and determine liability?

A sales receipt, business card or website may provide information about a retail business and its ownership. California’s Secretary of State requires businesses to register their information, which is available to the public online. A search may uncover whether a local entrepreneur or a large corporation owns the store.

Under California’s Civil Code, property owners or businesses renting properties owe a duty of care to keep their premises safe. The duty extends to a store’s employees who must monitor the premises and take steps to prevent accidents. Business owners have liability for their employees’ negligence when they fail to monitor and correct hazardous conditions.

What may reflect one of the biggest hazards in a retail store?

When store employees find potential hazards, the duty of care requires fixing them. A 2021 first-time study on retail store injuries caused by pallets showed an alarming statistic. The researchers found that 51% of in-store accidents involved tripping over empty pallets on floors. Because pallets present a potential danger to customers, employees must clear them from aisles when seen.

When a store accident causes an injury, you may file a lawsuit against the business owner. Damage awards may cover medical treatment and include compensation for pain and suffering.