Slip and fall as well as back and neck injuries are common shopping-related injuries, according to the records of personal injury claims annually in US. Apart from customer overspending, many people do not consider potential dangers when they go shopping for items like toys, clothing, household goods, and electronics. Shopping injuries are more common and there are cases where the owner of the store is liable for his/her failure to maintain safety around their premises, or put some warnings about the known hazards that may harm and injure the shoppers, workers and visitors, as well.
Kinds of Shopping Injuries
“Shopping injuries” refers to personal injuries that happen while in the shopping mall, store, or other retail companies. Most of the shopping-related injuries are minor and severe injuries include head traumas, broken bones, neck injuries, sprains, spinal injury, and deaths. Furthermore, shopping injury rates are inclined to increase during the peak season like Christmas, “Black Friday”, and other holidays. The different kinds of shopping-related accidents are as follows:
- Slip and Fall accidents occur as a result of wet floors, poor lighting, torn carpets, and escalator malfunctioning
- Shopping cart injuries are outcomes from the falls due to cart tipping incidents
- Head and body injuries are consequences from the out-of-reach items, falling objects, and retail displays, or other untoward incidents
- Parking lot injuries are outcomes from improper design of the parking lot, cracks, or the inability to remove the snow or ice
- Overcrowding injuries are results from incidents that involve over-crowding such as trampling
Shopping-related Personal Injury Claims
People who are harmed on commercial premises like shopping malls or stores, can file personal injury claims under the state law on negligence. Under the laws on premises liability, the owners of the store must practice reasonable care to ensure that the premises of the store are reasonably safe from the hidden hazards and dangerous conditions that can cause injury. For instance, the stores must clean up the spills right away, get rid of the fallen items, repair broken stairs or railings, change the dimmed light bulbs, and give sufficient security for the customers.
To show that the store was lawfully liable for the injuries, the injured shopper must prove that:
- The owner of the store was aware or should have been aware about the hazardous condition on their premises;
- The owner of the store failed to inspect and check regularly the store for any danger, or inadequate maintenance
- The shopper would not have been harmed or injured if there was no hazardous condition on the premises
- There was a connection between the dangerous condition and the injury of the shopper
- The shopper experienced actual “damages” as an outcome of it.
The Store Owner’s Defense to Property Owner’s Claim
The owners of the store are facing personal injury claims may use the following defenses:
- That there was no hazardous condition present on the premises
- That the owner of the store had no prior knowledge
- The owner of the store did reasonable ways to fix any hazardous condition
- The danger did not cause the consumer’s injuries
- The consumer was negligent and assumed his/her own risks
- The condition was clear that anybody can avoid
Obtaining Legal Assistance
If you or any of your family members are injured while shopping on the premises of the store, you can find and contact a lawyer who has experience with personal injury claims in your locality. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist in determining if the store was and help you recover damages for the injuries sustained.
If you are also injured while working as an employee, you should also contact a lawyer locally who has good experience in the worker’s compensation.
Finally, since personal injury claims must be filed within a certain period, you must discuss with a personal injury lawyer immediately after an incident occurred.