Like most home improvement stores, Lowe’s carries a wide variety of items to prevent slip and fall injuries -– items such as handrails, guardrails, flooring solutions and ways to manage cords. Lowe’s even provides a Slip and Fall Checklist. But even a store that looks out for your safety may occasionally have safety issues as well, particularly a chain like Lowe’s that operates more than 1,745 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With an average of 15 million customers each week, it’s no wonder that customers are occasionally injured at Lowe's stores.
But suffering an injury at a Lowe’s store doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be successful in claiming damages from the company. Many times the company is simply not liable under legal standards that often favor corporate defendants. For example, in a 2012 case brought in Louisiana, a woman shopping at a Lowe’s, tripped and fell after passing a merchandise pallet stocked with light bulbs. The woman claimed that her accident was caused by a board protruding from the bottom of the pallet. But what made it difficult for the woman to recover was the recently enacted Louisiana Merchant Liability Act which increased the burden on persons injured in a store.
Because state laws vary, as do the conditions of each accident, it is essential that a person injured in an accident at a Lowe’s understand the legal principles, keep track of the evidence needed to prove liability, and make a timely report of the incident to Lowe’s. Once you contact Lowe’s you will likely hear from a Lowe's SRS (Safety and Risk Services) adjuster who will investigate the claim.
The adjuster will consider the issues that are always examined in a slip and fall case, specifically, was Lowe’s negligent in not providing a safe environment for their customers. After all, home improvement stores are the type of retail environment where merchandise is often left in the aisles where people may trip and fall.
Proof of Legal Liability
The person bringing the claim (the injured customer known as the “plaintiff”) must be able to prove that Lowe’s (the “defendant”) is responsible by showing they acted in a negligent manner. This can be established if Lowe’s:
- created the hazardous condition that led to the person being injured, such as leaving twine out causing a person to trip over it.
- knew that a dangerous condition existed and failed to provide a warning of some kind or to clean up the problem.
- should have known that a dangerous condition existed or had time to discover it
For example, a customer at a Lowe's Home and Garden Center in West Melbourne, Florida was injured badly when, while standing in the check out line, a store employee driving a forklift ran into the customer from behind. The man suffered a variety of orthopedic injuries and ultimately received a $600,000 payment. To achieve these results, however, the customer should consider working with an attorney who can best gather witness statements and other evidence.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Large home improvement chains, such as Lowe’s have a great deal of legal help to fight claims against customers. As noted, they often have their Safety and Risk Services adjuster research the claims and seek a resolution that best benefits Lowe’s, not the injured party. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight for your compensation rights.