An overview of retail shopping injuries

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2017 | blog, Firm News

You were at a store, just picking up some shampoo or toilet paper, and then something happened and injured you. Who is at fault? Does the store owner have some duty to keep you safe from harm?

A business owner must take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of customers who are on the premises of the business. A person who becomes injured due to the negligence of a business may receive awards from damages suffered because of an accident. The store owner is responsible for maintaining a safe environment and taking steps to rectify any dangerous situations as soon as he or she becomes aware of the hazard.

Varieties of shopping injuries

There are several varieties of shopping injuries. The most common types include slip-and-falls, head and body injuries, shopping cart injuries, overcrowding injuries and parking injuries. Certain shopping conditions, such as crowded holiday shopping events, may make a business more likely to be a hazardous place for shoppers. Other times, an improperly maintained storefront can contribute to accidents.

Proving a shopping injury claim

If a store owner does not exercise reasonable measures to keep the retail environment safe for shoppers, one may sue the owner for negligence under premises liability. The injured person will need to prove that the store owner was aware, or should have known, about the dangerous situation that caused the injury. The injured person will also need to demonstrate that the store owner did not take proper steps to alleviate the dangerous condition. There must be proof that the shopper would have been safe had it not been for the dangerous condition, that the injury was a result of the hazard and that the shopper suffered damages as a result.

Possible defenses of business owners

Business owners may have certain defenses against claims of premises liability. The owner can claim that he or she was not aware, or that the accident occurred in an employees-only location on the property. If the business owner took steps to alleviate the hazard, or if the hazard was so obvious that the customer should avoid it, the court may find a business owner not responsible. Finally, if the customer is negligent, a business owner may not be responsible for damages that occur.

An accident while shopping is an unfortunate occurrence. When such accidents happen, it is important for the victims to understand what their specific situation means for their legal options.

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