When Injuries Happen, Know Your Rights
With the holiday season just around the corner, you may think that the biggest pain point caused by shopping occurs in the area around your wallet. Yet shopping (excluding online shopping) is like any other activity that takes place in the real world—it is fraught with risks. And so while it may seem harmless to browse stores in search of the latest electronics, toys, clothing and other goods, shopping-related injuries, including slip and fall injuries, back and neck injuries and other misfortunes, occur regularly throughout the U.S. and account for thousands of personal injury claims each year.
How do shopping injuries occur?
The term “shopping injuries” is used to describe personal injuries that occur while visiting a store, shopping mall, strip center or other retail establishment. Shopping injuries often occur as a result of a store owner’s failure to maintain a safe premises. They can also occur when store owners do not provide adequate warning – to shoppers and workers alike – of hazards in and around the store.
Types of shopping injuries
Many shopping-related injuries end up being minor (e.g., scratches, bruises, muscle strains). Yet more serious injuries may include broken bones, sprains, head trauma, neck injury, spinal injury, and even death. Moreover, the rate of shopping injuries tends to increase during heavy shopping seasons, such as during the holiday season (particularly Black Friday), and other holidays.
Specific shopping-related accidents typically include:
Head and body injuries – these types of injuries can occur as a result of broken or misplaced retail displays, falling objects (particularly out-of-reach objects) or other mishaps
Slip and fall injuries – these can occur as a result of wet floors, torn carpets, poorly lit lighting, and escalator malfunctions. They also can result from objects or merchandise on the ground or floor that create a slip or trip hazard
Shopping cart injuries – shopping carts may seem non-threatening. But they are rolling metal objects, and if wielded improperly or without regard for others, they can tip over, ram into unsuspecting shoppers, knock over displays and products that then become hazardous objects, or cause other mishaps inside and outside of stores.
Parking lot injuries – these types of injuries often result from broken, cracked, uneven or improperly designed parking lots. They can also result from the landlord’s failure to remove snow or ice during or after inclement weather.
Overcrowding injuries – when lots of people congregate in a small space, nerves can get frayed, the orderly flow of foot traffic gets interrupted, and accidents can happen, including in extreme cases, trampling.
How to Evaluate a Shopping-Related Personal Injury Claim
People who are injured in or around stores, shopping malls, strip centers or other commercial property can generally use Ohio’s negligence law to file personal injury claims. Our state’s premises liability laws compel store owners to exercise reasonable care in ensuring that their store’s premises are reasonably safe from hazardous conditions or hidden dangers they would ascertain as having the potential to cause injury. For example, objects that have fallen from shelves or the ceiling should be removed; spills should be quickly cleaned up; broken railings and/or stairs should be fixed, light bulbs that are burned out should be replaced to provide adequate lighting; and so on. Additionally, owners are compelled to provide adequate security for their customers.
Anyone who wishes to prove in a court of law that he/she was injured as a result of a store’s negligence must prove things:
- The store owner possessed knowledge – or should have known – about a dangerous condition that existed on his/her property
- The store owner neglected to regularly inspect his/her store for dangers—or, he/she neglected to provided adequate maintenance
- The shopper would not have been injured if the dangerous condition had not existed on the property in question
- A clear connection could be drawn between the dangerous condition and the shopper’s injury
- The shopper suffered actual damages – i.e., injury/injuries, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, etc. – as a consequence of the dangerous condition
No Cost Evaluation
If you or a loved one have been injured while shopping on a store’s premises, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in personal injury litigation, including shopping injuries. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.
In the event you or a loved one has suffered a shopping-related injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.