Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of personal injury in the United States. These types of accidents can occur anywhere and at any time, including in homes, on public sidewalks and in private businesses. When a slip and fall incident occurs in the home, a person’s private healthcare insurance must cover medical expenses and related costs. However, when an event occurs in a retail location, such as in a Bath & Body Works, victims may be able to pursue compensation through a slip and fall claim against the business owner.
Bath & Body Works is a U.S.-based retail chain that sells luxury body care and home fragrance products. Since its inception in 1990, the brand — which has its roots in Ohio — has flourished in terms of size and popularity. It now has over 1,600 locations across six continents, including North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Like many other large retailers, Bath & Body Works has several safety measures in place to prevent harm from befalling its customers and employees. Yet, despite these measures, accidents can and do happen. When unsafe store conditions cause your accident, you may have a case for compensation.
Common In-Store Hazards That Can Lead to Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall events can and often do occur simply because of the victim’s clumsiness. Many times, victims’ inattention or carelessness causes them to fall. However, yet other times slip and fall accidents occur because store employees, managers or owners fail to follow proper safety protocol. Common circumstances that often lead to slip and fall accidents in Bath & Body Work locations are as follows:
- Freshly mopped floors that lack warnings
- Greasy floors from product spills
- Sloped or uneven walking surfaces
- Loose carpets
- Freshly waxed floors
- Slippery substances that other customers track in or spill
- Adverse weather conditions
Each of the above circumstances is avoidable with proper training and protocol in place. If you or a loved one slipped and fell because a member of the retail chain failed to follow through with his or her responsibilities, the owner of the store itself becomes liable due to the theories of respondeat superior and vicarious liability.
Areas Where Slip and Falls Happen in Bath & Body Works Locations
Patrons of any retail location can slip and fall just about anywhere on the sales floor. However, certain elements of a typical Bath & Body Works location present unique hazards to shoppers. For instance, many locations are dimly lit. Store managers often cover the floors in black rugs and set up product displays on the floor, low-to the ground and within feet from each other. Though many store managers try to place rugs around sampling stations, foot traffic can cause those rugs to shift. When lotions and soaps fall onto tiled surfaces, they create slipping hazards.
That said, some areas throughout Bath & Body Works stores create more of an accident risk than others. Those are as follows:
- Front entrances, where customers stomp off their feet or throw away beverages
- Around displays
- Beneath sampling stations
- In dimly lit areas
Managers should make employees aware of these areas and train employees to pay extra attention to them throughout a shift.
Slip and Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
In the best-case scenario, slipping and falling in your local Bath & Body Works store results in a bruised ego and sore tailbone. Unfortunately, the best-case outcome is not the only outcome. Many slip and fall victims sustain serious injuries that result in costly medical expenses and that interfere with their ability to work and perform everyday activities.
For example, the primary cause of injury in 95% of hip fracture cases was a fall. One in five falls causes a serious injury, including traumatic brain injury. In fact, falls are the leading cause of TBI in all age groups. Even if you did not fracture a hip or sustain a TBI in your Bath & Body Works fall, you may have sustained one or more of the following types of injuries:
- Bruising and contusions
- Dislocations and fractures
- Strains, sprains and muscle tears
- Lacerations and punctures
- Concussion and loss of consciousness
Many falls result in injuries either to areas of the upper or lower body but not both. However, it is not uncommon for fall victims to sustain multiple injuries to multiple areas of their bodies. Whether you sustained one or several injuries, and whether it is something as minor as a dislocation or as major as a TBI, consult with a legal team that has experience in taking on a company as financially secure as Bath & Body Works.
Bath & Body Works Owes Shoppers a Duty of Care
For reputation purposes, Bath & Body Works should take great care to keep its stores free of hazards that could put shoppers’ safety at risk. However, reputation aside, the law states that stores, regardless of size, have a legal obligation to “keep others who come onto their property safe from foreseeable and unreasonable hazards.” Such hazards include slip and falls, falls from heights, trips and falls, falls on stairs, and falls in the parking lot or other exterior areas. If a store or representative of the store fails to uphold this duty, the owner may become liable for injured parties’ damages. Such damages may include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional duress
- Rehabilitation costs
The Elements of a Successful Slip and Fall Claim
It is not enough for you to prove that you slipped and fell in a Bath & Body Works location to recover compensation for your harm. Rather, you must demonstrate that the four elements of a premises liability claim exist. Those four elements are as follows:
- The store owed you a duty of care to keep its premises safe of tripping hazards
- The store and/or its agents failed to follow through with that duty, thereby establishing negligence
- Said negligence led to the circumstances that caused your slip and fall
- You sustained injuries as a direct result of the store’s negligence or breach of duty
Proving slip and fall claims is easier said than done, as the defendant can easily assert that you fell due to your own carelessness or clumsiness. To prevent a he-said-she-said game, which often yields poor outcomes for victims, it is important that you take steps immediately after your accident to bolster your case. Among those steps include taking pictures of the scene, requesting video footage and maintenance logs from the store, and seeking immediate medical treatment. It may also be in your best interests to retain the help of a slip and fall lawyer who has the experience and resources necessary to go up against a retail giant such as Bath & Body Works.
Contact Our Bath & Body Works Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
If you slip and fall in Bath &Body Works and hope to recover compensation for your injuries, your best bet would be to partner with an experienced, aggressive and reputable slip and fall attorney in New York. Check out our results to see how we fit the bill or contact our team today to discuss your case more in-depth.
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