Can You Sue For Slipping on a Wet Floor?

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Can You Sue For Slipping on a Wet Floor?

slipping on a wet floor

A slip and fall injury from a wet floor is a very frustrating experience. Sometimes, you can’t even see the danger. However, these falls can cause horrible, sometimes life-changing injuries. When these situations occur, our Michigan slip and fall lawyers can help investigate what happened and see if the property owner was negligent. 

But these cases are not easy. Property owners have a number of different ways to get these cases dismissed. And without a proper investigation and case work-up, an injured person can end up with much less compensation than they deserve. That is why it is important to contact a good slip and fall attorney after a slip and fall injury

Property Owner Negligence

A property owner owes a duty to visitors and customers to exercise reasonable care to protect them from an unreasonable risk of harm caused by a dangerous condition on the land. When this duty is breached, and a person is injured, the owner can be held liable for negligence. 

However, the landowner does not have to ensure their property is in perfect condition. The plaintiff must prove the danger was unreasonable. This is typically determined on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, the injured person must prove the property owner knew or should have known, about this dangerous condition. This is called notice. An experienced Michigan wet floor lawyer can help prove the defendant was negligent and had notice so you can obtain compensation.

What Compensation Can I Get from a Slippery Floor Accident? 

Michigan wet floor accidents are treated like normal slip-and-fall cases. They fall under the umbrella of negligence law. This means the injured person files for compensation against the property owner for all available damages under Michigan law.

These damages include:

  • The payment of past medical bills
  • The cost of future medical care
  • Past lost wages
  • Futures lost wages or loss earnings capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Loss of society 

Stores, property owners, and their insurance companies don’t like to pay out money for damages from a slip and fall. They are very aggressive in defending these cases. If you have been injured due to a wet floor, and you believe the owner was negligent, then contact a Michigan wet floor attorney to protect your rights.  

What are Common Causes of Wet Floor Accidents?

Accidents involving spills and wet floors can occur for any number of reasons. However, when a property owner is negligent for a slip and fall, an employee or an outside company hired by the building owner usually failed to do something. 

Grocery Store Slip and Fall Accidents

slip and fall in grocery store

One of the classic examples is failing to clean up a spill at a grocery store. Grocery stores do not have the legal duty to ensure their property is always 100% clean or that a spill must be cleaned up immediately. But if a store employee knows about a spill, or the spill existed for a long enough time that the store should have known, then the grocery store can be held responsible if a wet floor causes an injury. 

Ice and Snow

Another common cause is failing to clean up melted water from ice and snow. Water by its very nature is clear and easily blends into the underlying surface. This can make it difficult to see. Stores and building owners are obligated to periodically walk around the store to make sure it is free from wet floors and spills. This includes the entrances where snow and ice can build up and melt. 

If an area is dangerous, then the area must be marked with a warning sign and the area cleaned up. Failing to do this can result in civil liability. 

Wet Mats or Rugs

Another common reason for wet floor accidents is failing to have a mat in an area where water can cumulate. Area rugs or carpeting near the entrance to a store can make sure water isn’t left on the floor, making it slippery. 

In addition, damp or wet mats must be changed to ensure the walkway areas are safe for pedestrian traffic.  

What are Common Locations for a Wet Floor Accident? 

There are a number of common locations where wet floor accidents may occur.

  • Grocery stores
  • Drug stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping malls
  • Casinos 
  • Apartment complexes or rentals

What are the Defenses to a Wet Floor Lawsuit? 

Property owners, building owners, landlords, and insurance companies can use a few different defenses when defending a Michigan wet floor case. 

Comparative Negligence:

The most popular defendant is comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is the fault of the plaintiff for getting injured due to a dangerous condition. A jury must apportion fault. If a jury finds that the plaintiff is more than 50% at-fault or negligent for causing his own injuries, then he is not entitled to receive any pain and suffering compensation. 

If a jury says the plaintiff is 25% comparatively negligent for getting injured, then the total verdict is reduced by 25%. For example, if the verdict is $100,000, then the plaintiff will only get $75,0000.

Open and Obvious:

Another major defense is the open and obvious defense. For many years, this defense meant that if a condition was open and obvious, or there to be seen by an average person under casual inspection, then the property owner escaped all liability. Basically, the open and obvious rule meant the property owner had no duty to get rid of open and obvious conditions. 

For example, if a parking lot was filled with potholes or a grocery store floor was wet due to spilled fruit, those conditions were considered there to be seen. In other words, they were open and obvious, and the injured person had no claim against the landowner. 

The open and obvious rule has undergone changes recently. It is smart to consult with a Michigan wet floor lawyer who understands this defense well and handles cases throughout the state.  

How Much Time Is There To File a Wet Floor Lawsuit?

Under Michigan law, typically the injured person has three (3) years to file a lawsuit against the proper defendants for a slip and fall from a wet floor. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. 

However, some defendants like cities and townships have specific notice guidelines that must be met. Contact a Michigan wet floor lawyer to get free legal advice.

Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers That Fight for You

The slip and fall lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have been helping injured shoppers and customers recover millions for their injuries. We do it by meeting with witnesses, recovering video, taking photos, and hiring experts to explain why the property owner broke the safety rules.

We also do it by meeting and communicating with our clients. Call our office anytime at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). The consultation is free, and we will never charge anything until we win your case.