Baskin Robbins is a staple ice cream chain that has been in business for a long time. The summer months bring a rush of foot traffic into the store, and if employees are not diligent in maintaining clean floors, the spills could pile up and create dangerous conditions anywhere. If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident at Baskin Robbins because of a safety hazard, you should not have to suffer the financial burden incurred from your injuries. You may have the chance to recover compensation for your losses.
Potential Fall Hazards at Baskin Robbins
Most people do not enter an ice cream shop and begin looking for safety hazards. However, the potential is there. With so many Baskin Robbins locations across the country, some of them are bound to face understaffing or bad management. When the employees neglect the safety precautions they learned in training, some of these potential hazards may arise:
- Issues with the flooring. Years of foot traffic leaves plenty of wear and tear on the floors. Some areas become uneven, causing a risk for missteps. Broken or chipped tiles create a fall hazard, and worn and torn rugs could cause someone to trip.
- Spilled ice cream. The most obvious hazard is the product. Customers, especially children, drop ice cream on the floor, and it melts and becomes a safety hazard when the employees do not clean it in a timely manner.
- Debris in high traffic areas. When employees are not vigilant about emptying trashcans, the overflow sometimes spills onto the floor.
- Wet floors. Baskin Robbins uses a variety of refrigeration equipment, both on the floor with customers and in the back. The cases that contain the ice cream may leak when not properly and regularly cleaned. If employees mop the floor and do not leave a wet floor sign, the store is liable for any slip and fall accident that occurs in the wet area. Customers may also track in water from outside, causing wet floors at the entrance.
- Poorly maintained parking lot and sidewalks. Property owners are responsible for maintaining the entire property, including the outdoor areas. Connecticut experiences heavy snowfall every year, and the potential for icy conditions is high in New England. Parking lots with black ice and unchecked snow build-up are at high risk for falls.
If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident because of any of these or similar conditions, the store is likely liable for your accident. However, you must be able to prove it.
Determining Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In any personal injury case, including a slip and fall claim, the burden of proving liability falls on the injured person. Determining liability is sometimes a straightforward process and sometimes very complex. For Baskin Robbins to bear responsibility for your accident and subsequent injury, one of these scenarios must be true:
- The store owner or staff must have known about the hazard and did nothing to remedy it.
- The store owner or staff must have caused the dangerous condition intentionally.
- The store owner or staff must have known about the hazard because any reasonable person would have known and fixed it.
The last scenario is the most commonly used. Liability in a slip and fall case is often determined with discretion. Evidence plays a vital role, but determining whether or not the staff or owner acted reasonably requires a certain amount of common sense.
If the standard upon which the judge or jury determines liability is whether or not the defendant acted as any reasonable person would, then they must define reasonableness. The law focuses on what policies the owner has in place that ensure the staff is maintaining safety conditions on the property. Some potential questions you might ask that help establish reasonable behavior include:
- Does the owner require employees to make regular safety checks around the store during shifts? If the answer is yes, is there proof, such as a physical checklist?
- Did the staff fail to use a barrier that would protect customers from the safety hazard?
- If an object on the floor caused your accident, was there a legitimate reason for its presence? Could it have been placed somewhere else? Was it there longer than needed?
- Did poor lighting contribute to your accident?
This is not a comprehensive list, but if any of the answers support your narrative of the accident, you may have a strong case for compensation.
Elements of Negligence
There are four elements of negligence in every slip and fall accident lawsuit that prove liability and lead to compensation for the injured:
- The property owner and staff had a duty of reasonable care.
- They failed to meet that duty.
- That failure lead to the slip and fall accident.
- That accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
You might refer to these four as duty, breach, causation, and damages. If all four exist in your case, you should have a chance to collect on your losses.
Evidence You May Need To Help Prove Fault
In the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, there are a few steps you can take to protect your health and your case. If you decide to speak to an attorney, you should present him or her with all the information you have about the incident and any evidence you collected after it happened. Some helpful evidence may include:
- Photographs and videos of the scene, including where you fell, what you slipped on, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries
- Contact information from anyone that witnessed the accident
- An incident report from the manager or supervisor on duty
- Notes about what happened that you took while the details were freshest in your mind.
- Video surveillance footage if the store had cameras.
If you did not need emergency medical services at the time of the accident, you should still see a doctor for evaluation. Your health is the priority, but medical records in the immediate aftermath also provide proof of your injury.
Possible Defense in a Slip and Fall Accident
The most common argument from the defense is that the plaintiff was either all or partially responsible for the accident and the injuries. The rule of comparative negligence governs shared fault in personal injury cases. Connecticut follows modified comparative negligence, which states that the percentage of fault you bear for the accident equals the percentage deducted from the awarded compensation.
The “modified” part mandates that you are no longer eligible for compensation at all if you are found more than 50% responsible for your accident. For example, if the jury awards you $10,000 in compensation and finds you 40% at fault, you receive $6,000. If you are more than 50% at fault, you receive no compensation.
How a Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Can Help
Slip and fall accidents carry a heavy physical, mental, and financial burden for the injured. You should not face the complex legal process of a lawsuit while trying to heal, and you should not have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. The premises liability attorneys at Gould Injury Law are passionate about getting fair compensation to you as quickly as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will start fighting for you right away.
If you suffered injuries due to a slip and fall at any of the following commercial establishments, our personal injury attorneys could help with your case:
- Bath & Body Works
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Big Lots
- Burger King
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree
- Duane Reade/Walgreens