Bath & Body Works is undeniably a popular store for seasonally scented lotions, candles and more. The stores regularly experience busy surges, especially during the holiday season, and any high-traffic store has the potential for hazardous conditions. Slip and fall accidents can range from minor to serious and leave you with injuries ranging from a small bruise to heavy physical and financial burdens. If you slipped, fell and suffered an injury at a Bath & Body Works store, you may be eligible for compensation.
Possible Dangerous Conditions at Bath & Body Works
A large portion of Bath & Body Works stores are in locations such as shopping centers that generate heavy shopper traffic. With many people moving in and out of the stores, the potential for spills and other dangerous conditions increases. Additionally, as employees rush to help shoppers, regular safety checks around the store may fall to the wayside.
Some examples of hazardous situations that may arise in a Bath & Body Works store include:
- Rain or snow tracked in by customers can cause wet floors, particularly around the entrance.
- Sample bottles throughout the store may spill or leak onto the floor.
- Broken floor tiles, uneven flooring or torn rugs present possible tripping perils.
- Customers in shopping centers and malls bring in food and drinks from outside and sometimes spill them on the floor.
- Precarious product displays may fall and create a tripping hazard.
- Inclement weather, such as snow and ice, creates dangerous parking lots and walkways left untreated.
This list is not comprehensive. Given the vast number of products in any Bath & Body Works store, almost anything could cause a tripping risk.
Premises Liability in Connecticut Slip and Fall Accidents
The legal concept of premises liability is particularly relevant to slip and fall accident cases, but the rules can be complex. In Connecticut, there are three categories of visitors defined by premises liability:
- An invitee is someone who has direct or implied permission to be on the property. This may include friends, family or neighbors.
- A trespasser is on the property illegally without permission from the property owner and is not protected by laws governing safety standards.
- A licensee has permission to enter the property, but his or her presence does not warrant the same duty of care as an invitee. For example, a salesperson is on the property for his or her own purposes, and the only duty of care that the owner owes is a proper warning of a dangerous condition that is not immediately obvious.
Bath & Body Works is open to the public; therefore, the property owner has a responsibility to maintain safe conditions for anyone entering the store during open hours.
Economic Damages You May Recover
Slip and fall accident lawsuits, just like most personal injury cases, allow you to pursue compensation for damages incurred by your injuries. It is important to remember that sustaining an injury on someone else’s property is not enough to warrant a lawsuit. However, if the negligence of an owner or staff member of a Bath & Body Works store caused your accident and relevant injury, you may recover compensatory losses:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs for repairing any property damaged
- Any other expenses related to the accident or injury
These are just the economic, or specific, damages with monetary value. You can calculate the value using medical bills, estimates for future medical treatments, pay stubs, recent tax returns and any receipts or estimates for other expenses.
Other Losses You May Claim
Compensatory damages also include non-economic or general losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium, or loss of enjoyment in life. These are more difficult to calculate because there is no definitive monetary value. The value is determined on a case-by-case basis, often using precedent cases.
Slip and Fall Accident Law in Connecticut
If you suffered an injury from a slip and fall at a Bath & Body Works store in Connecticut, two extremely important laws applicable to your potential lawsuit include the statute of limitations and the rule of comparative negligence. Even in straightforward cases with a high possibility for a fast and fair settlement, there are necessary deadlines and relevant paperwork you must understand. In more complex cases, the question of shared fault may require further negotiation and could possibly delay compensation.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In personal injury cases, you file with the local civil court. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident is two years from the time of the accident. This same deadline applies to any claims for injury or property damage. If you do not file before the two-year deadline, you should expect the court to dismiss your case without review.
In almost all personal injury cases, the rule of comparative negligence determines if you can receive compensation and if so, how much. Comparative negligence states that the percentage of fault you bear for the accident represents the percentage deducted from your compensation.
There are two types of comparative negligence:
- Pure comparative negligence states that you may still receive compensation regardless of your percentage of shared responsibility.
- Modified comparative negligence states that you may receive compensation as long as your fault is less than half. If you bear more than 50% responsibility, you are not eligible for compensation.
Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. For example, if you sue Bath & Body Works for your accident, you may reach a settlement, or your case may enter the court system for trial. If the jury awards you $10,000 and finds you 30% at fault for the accident, you would receive $7,000.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
To win in a slip and fall lawsuit, you, the plaintiff, must prove that the defendant, Bath & Body Works, is responsible for your accident and resulting injuries. Three possible scenarios may prove the defendant’s liability:
- The property owner or employee must have known that the dangerous condition existed because any reasonable person would have known about it and removed it.
- The property owner or a worker caused the dangerous situation and left it there intentionally.
- Even though the store owner or the employees realized a hazardous situation existed, they did not remedy the dangerous circumstances.
The first scenario is the most common, but it is sometimes the most difficult because you must prove that the property owner or employee did not meet the standard of reasonableness. A reasonable property owner would mandate regular safety checks throughout employee shifts and require checklists for each inspection to document the effort. You have no responsibility to prove that you were careful, but if you thoroughly explain what you did, you leave no room for questioning your potential fault.
If you recently suffered an injury in a Bath & Body Works slip and fall accident in Connecticut, you may benefit from the help of an experienced slip and fall injury attorney. Gould Injury Law has handled hundreds of personal injury cases and has the resources to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
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:
- Basking Robbins
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Big Lots
- Burger King
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree
- Duane Reade/Walgreens