There must be a dangerous condition
A dangerous condition is any condition that creates an unusual hazard. A typical dangerous condition might be a wet floor.
The business must be on notice of the existence of the dangerous condition
A business will not be held liable for your injuries if it did not know nor had any reason to know that a dangerous condition existed on the premises. Notice triggers a duty on the business to fix the problem or warn patrons. If the business fails to do so then a jury can find that the business was negligent. This does not mean an automatic win as we will see in the next section. Notice is difficult to prove and is usually done in one of three ways. First, by direct evidence that the business employees knew about the dangerous condition . Second, by showing that the dangerous condition was created by an employee. Third, by showing that the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that a reasonable inspection would have revealed it.
The dangerous condition must be hidden
Contributory negligence is an old defense only available in North Carolina and a few other states. Basically it means that if you contribute ever so slightly to the cause of your injury, then you are barred from recovering from another even if the other party is mostly at fault. A dangerous condition that is in plain view may give rise to the defense of contributory negligence. The test for whether a danger is in plain view is whether you would see it if you looked. You may not have seen the box you tripped over or the grape juice that you slipped on, but if you would have seen it if you had looked, then it's not hidden.