It's surprising how quickly a shopping trip can turn into a trip to the emergency room. Retail stores and other business environments can house unsafe conditions that could result in customers having anything but an enjoyable shopping experience. Read on to find out what might happen when a store injury trips you up and ruins more than just a shopping outing.
Don't Be Embarrassed – It's Not Your Fault
You may just feel like you are clumsy when you trip over a rug or get hit by items falling from high shelves. You should realize, however, that stores are bound by the law to promote a safe environment for visitors.
The burden of ensuring that rugs are not wrinkled and that items are not resting precariously on shelves is the store's responsibility, not your own. So you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to bring a lawsuit for an accident. Also, if you make a point to take action when you get hurt in a store, your decision might prevent others from suffering from the same accidents.
Don't Misunderstand Negligence
Stores that fail to make things safe for customers might be negligent, which leaves them liable for your injuries. Negligence is a legal term that means people and business entities have a duty to create circumstances where no one will be hurt. Additionally, they must take action to warn against potential problems ahead of time.
Exactly what negligence is and what it is not can come down to asking, "What would a normal business do to prevent injuries?"
Don't Overlook Unsafe Conditions
Public places like stores can be prone to a lot of questionable circumstances. Many stores employ a multitude of employees, but most of them are in charge of taking money and stocking the store shelves. So the responsibility often falls on the store manager or owner to ensure that the store is safe from obvious and known issues, but that effort is not always successful.
Take a look at just a few common and dangerous retail problems that might cause injuries to customers:
- Wet floors: Problems can quickly arise if it's been raining and the floors are wet, but the store has neglected to place warning cones and signs near the wet areas. Stores can have freezers, refrigerator cases, and roofs that leak and cause problems as well. Slippery floors can cause nasty falls, and failure to warn and to clean up liquids in a timely manner can lead to injuries and lawsuits.
- Tripping hazards: A grocery store may have numerous vendors offering samples of food. Unfortunately, some customers are not careful and spill their sticky food and drinks on the floor. This slip-and-fall hazard is not the fault of the customers but of the store, since they are promoting their products in that manner.
- Displays: If a store has created a large pyramid-shaped display of products right in the middle of an aisle, this display may be difficult to avoid, which could result in injuries when items are bumped by a shopping cart.
- Electrical hazards: If a clothing shop has some electrical issues, they may snake extension cords all around the shop in an effort to remain open. This creates both a trip and a shock hazard.
Don't Allow Stores to Turn Their Back on Liability
Retail stores are liable for injuries that occur on their premises. You don’t need to fully understand the somewhat complicated nature of civil law to take legal action against a store, but you need to take action quickly to preserve valuable evidence.
People are hurt in store accidents every day, but you must act now to gain money damages. You are entitled to benefits like medical expenses, lost wages, reimbursement for ruined clothing and other personal possessions, and much more.
Contact us at Law Offices of Wells and McElwee, P.C. about your retail-related accident today and find out how to be compensated for the harm done to you.