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Whose fault was that slip-and-fall?

You're walking through the local grocery store, pushing your cart, when you suddenly feel your feet slipping out from under you. You try to catch yourself on the cart, but it just makes things worse. As the cart rolls away from you, you crash to the ground and fracture your hip.

Now, your first thought is probably that you need someone to call you an ambulance for a ride to the hospital. It will not be long, though, before you'll be wondering whose fault that incident was. Did you cause the accident by not being steady on your feet? Or was the store responsible because they did not give you a safe environment to do your shopping?

While it is important to note that people have some obligation to walk safely and pay attention to what they're doing, it absolutely may be the store owner's fault that you fell. What matters is whether or not they took "reasonable steps" to make sure the area was safe for you and the other customers.

For instance, maybe the floor was wet from a leaking pipe. They knew about it and did not shut off the water or clean up what had spilled. They also neglected to put up a wet floor sign to warn you. All of those are actions that you could reasonably expect them to take if they knew about the issue, and not doing so is severe negligence -- which led directly to your injury.

These cases can get complicated, especially when both parties do not agree on who was at fault or what happened, so make sure you know what legal options you have.

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