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Lawsuits & Litigation

How Quickly Should a Grocery Store in Chicago Clean Up a Spill?

— December 1, 2021

Things get complicated when both sides disagree over just how long a spill needs to sit on the ground before it becomes a sign of negligence.

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury in Chicago, you may be wondering whether something could have been done to prevent this from happening. Perhaps you believe that another party’s negligence led to your injury. In grocery stores across Chicago, spills often cause people to fall and become injured. And when determining whether these grocery stores are liable, the same question is often asked: “How long was the spill allowed to remain on the floor?”

Although this might sound like a relatively pointless question, it may have a tremendous impact on your ability to recover compensation as an injured victim. To learn more about whether you can expect success with your personal injury lawsuit in Illinois, get in touch with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. These legal professionals can assess your unique situation and determine the best strategy as you move forward. 

Why It Matters

So why does it matter how long a spill has been left unattended at a grocery store? Basically, you can only sue a grocery store if you can prove that they were aware of the risk and did nothing to prevent accidents from happening. If a spill is allowed to sit on the floor for hours without anyone doing anything about it, this is a clear sign of negligence. The expectation is that a “reasonable” business owner would notice a spill if it had existed for that long.

Yellow "Caution Wet Floor" sign; image by adpeople0, via
Yellow “Caution Wet Floor” sign; image by adpeople0, via

As soon as a business owner becomes aware of potential danger, they are legally obliged to address the issue and protect members of the public from harm. So if a spill sits on a floor for hours, someone is obviously not doing their job, and the assumption is that the spill was noticed… but nothing was done. This is a sign of negligence. 

When it Gets Complicated

Things get complicated when both sides disagree over just how long a spill needs to sit on the ground before it becomes a sign of negligence. Some might argue that a spill should be cleaned up within seconds of being noticed by an employee. Others may argue that five or ten minutes is more realistic, since the employee needs to walk to the cupboard, retrieve the necessary mop and cleaning supplies, and then walk back to the spill in order to clean it up. They may also need to delegate the task to someone else if they are too busy with other matters. As ridiculous as it sounds, prosecutors and defendants can become engaged in fierce debates over differences of a single minute or 30 seconds. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Chicago area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims in Chicago achieve positive legal results. We know how important settlements can be if you’re dealing with medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages. Book your consultation today, and we can guide you forward through this difficult time. 

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