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Who is liable if I slip and fall in a supermarket?

For the majority of people, a visit to the supermarket at least once a week is a fact of life. Although it is a seemingly safe and routine part of life, many shoppers find themselves seriously injured because of a slip-and-fall sustained while on the store's property.

If you have suffered this type of injury, you may have legal remedies available to you under New Jersey Law. Specifically, this type of claim is called a premises liability claim.

A brief overview of premises liability

Under the law in New Jersey, owners of supermarkets (as well as owners of other types of stores) have a duty to their customers to maintain the store, including the walkways and aisles, in a reasonably safe condition. Also, the owner of the store must take reasonable steps to discover and correct all dangerous property conditions that exist.

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident because the supermarket owner failed to fulfill these legal duties, the owner may be held liable for your injuries. However, in order to recover compensation for your injuries, you generally have to prove that the owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your injuries. Knowledge can be proven in several ways, including when:

• The owner or an employee caused the condition to occur

• The owner or employee knew of the dangerous condition, but failed to take steps to adequately fix it

• The condition was present long enough that the owner or an employee should have discovered it had they exercised reasonable care

As you can see, the storeowner may be liable if they should have known of the dangerous condition. As a result, if you slip on a slippery substance that sat on the floor for long enough that the owner or an employee should have noticed it and cleaned it up, it is likely that the owner may be held liable for your injuries.

Proving liability in slip-and-fall cases can be difficult. As a result, it is useful to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured while shopping.

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