I slipped and fell in a store. Are they liable for my injuries?

I went in to get a few groceries and came out with a broken wrist after slipping on some spilled milk.

Terri

Terri

Williams Lake, BC

A store or other business can be responsible for injuries you suffer in a slip and fall on their premises. Under this law, you’ll have to prove all of the following:

  • there was a hazard or unsafe condition in the store,

  • the store operator knew or should reasonably have known about the hazard or unsafe condition,

  • they didn’t make reasonable efforts to keep their property safe for you to use (including taking steps to deal with the hazard or unsafe condition), and 

  • their negligence caused your accident and injuries. 

The specifics matter in these types of cases. For example, let’s say the spill happened just minutes before you fell, and a store worker had put out a sign board saying the floor was wet and then gone to get a mop. In those circumstances, the store may be seen to have taken reasonable efforts to keep the property safe. On the other hand, if the spill had been sitting unattended for hours and there was no warning sign about it, your claim against the store will be much stronger. An important factor will be what kind of system the store has in place for cleaning, maintaining, and inspecting the store to keep it safe for users, and the degree to which they follow that system.

We have more on slips and falls, including step-by-step guidance on making a damages claim.

Paul Warnett

Paul Warnett

Warnett Hallen LLP
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in April 2021

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