This year’s Black Friday is over; and unfortunately, fatalities, injuries, and violence have been associated with this time of the year. Crowds of shoppers swarming retail stores – each one wanting to get the best Black Friday deals – can turn violent due to the aggressive and competitive atmosphere that the shopping holiday brings. As of late, there had been 12 deaths and 117 injuries that happened during Black Friday.
Most common injuries at a retail store are slip and fall incidents. Retail stores can also face liability for injuries resulting from unmanaged crowds, poorly maintained shopping carts, and incidents at the storefront or the parking lot.
Retail stores have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their customers. It may be intimidating to file a lawsuit against a huge retail store such as Walmart or Target and hold them responsible for an injury, but if you find the right lawyer who can guide you through it, you can be rightfully compensated.
What should you do after an accident at a retail store?
- Inform the store. Make sure that someone at the store, preferably a manager, knows what happened to you. Do not leave the store until you have a narrative report of what exactly happened, as their insurance company will require this write-up.
- Do not downplay the incident. Avoid saying things like, “it’s nothing” or “I’m fine.” First, you don’t know the extent of your injuries until you have a doctor check it, and second, this may harm your chance to get compensation as they may claim that you’ve expressed that you were okay at the store after the incident happened.
- Document the incident. Take photos of the scene, especially the hazard that caused the injury – whether it’s a shopping cart, a wet floor with no sign of caution nearby, or a dysfunctional door. Take pictures from different angles, to be sure. Ask for the store’s security tape. It would be better if you get your own copy as recordings are sometimes only kept for a certain period of time. Also ask for the names and contact details of witnesses.
- See your doctor right away. Go to the emergency room or have yourself checked by your own doctor as soon as possible. This is for your own safety – you cannot know how bad your injury is unless a doctor examines it. Also, if you do not seek medical help immediately, the store’s lawyer can take it against your claim and say that your injury must not have been serious if you did not feel the need to go to the doctor right away.
- Keep all records. Aside from photos of the scene and contact information of witnesses, document everything that happened after the incident – lost wages, missed workdays, medical bills, and other miscellaneous expenses that resulted from the injury.
- Avoid social media. For the meantime, refrain from posting your activities on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social networking sites. This is for you to protect your claim as the store’s legal team can utilize social media to undermine or deny it.
- Contact a lawyer. Seek the help of an attorney who can review the evidence you have, investigate the case further, and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.