Falls sometimes look funny in the movies. In real life, they're not so funny. Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury and death, especially to the elderly. The fatality rate is very high in those older than 75 who have suffered a fall.
Many of the falls occur in commercial retail establishments, including stores such as Safeway, Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and at retail malls. In Hawaii, where slippers are the unofficial state of Hawaii footwear, wet and slippery surfaces can be particularly hazardous.
How Premises Liability Works In Hawaii
Landowners and businesses which invite customers onto their premises have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition as well as to warn customers of hazardous conditions.
Hawaii law on the duty of property owners has evolved favorably for the public. In a recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision, it was held that owners could no longer defeat victims of slip and falls merely by claiming that the hazard was open and obvious. Steigman v. Outrigger Enterprises, Inc. Instead, juries will determine the extent of the store's negligence and the extent of the injured customer's negligence.
How Compensation Is Determined Under Hawaii's Comparative Negligence Law
Under Hawaii's comparative negligence law, if the injured customer is 50 percent or less at fault, then the customer is entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a slip and fall.
Making A Difference For Slip-And-Fall Victims
As an attorney I have successfully represented victims of slip/trip and falls for 35 years. In a slip-and-fall case early in my career, I proved that algae which collected at the bottom of a drop in an outdoor pavement at the Hilton Hawaiian Village was the cause of a slip and fall which occurred on a rainy day. The victim, a young woman, suffered a minimal brain injury when her head struck the pavement.
I recently settled a case for several hundred thousand dollars involving a slip and fall on a damp section of floor at a local supermarket, resulting in knee surgeries to a 50-year-old woman. The lawsuit claimed that the store chose to use vinyl composition tiles which were polished and buffed to make the floor more attractive to shoppers. Unfortunately, this also made the floor extremely slippery and unsafe when wet. The fall occurred on a rainy day, when shoppers were tracking water into the store from their slippers and from shopping carts kept outside the store. The store had placed signs warning that the floor was slippery and had also placed carpets at the entrance of the store. The experts retained by me were able to demonstrate that the flooring material was extremely unsafe, that a reasonable alternative flooring was commercially available and that the warnings were inadequate.
Make Sure You Recover The Compensation You Are Due. Call Today.
If you have been seriously injured by a slip/trip and fall, you should safeguard your rights without delay. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your options with me, skilled personal injury attorney Jan Weinberg. Call my law office directly at 808-523-9477. I will return your call promptly and thoroughly review your case with you.