Most holiday shoppers hope for bargains and deals when they think of the local malls and shopping centers. During this busy time of year the reality is that not all retail establishments take adequate precautions to protect the safety and security of their clientele and visitors.
How Do Shopping Injuries Happen?
Even in the most upscale and beautiful of retail centers, there are potential hazards for shoppers, which can include:
- Wet floors, uneven flooring or carpets with tears, exposed cords and unmarked thresholds, and even malfunctioning escalators and elevators pose a potential slip and fall danger.
- Precariously placed items, improperly secured displays, and out-of-reach items may lead to head and body injuries from falling objects.
- Shopping cart accidents may occur if the cart tips over or the wheels lock suddenly due to improper maintenance.
- People may be injured in large crowds if crowd control measures are not properly implemented in advance of known shopping events.
- Individuals may be hurt in parking lots or at exits or entrances of retail stores if the weather is bad, lighting is insufficient, sidewalks are cracked or curbs are not adequately visible.
- There are personal safety hazards for shoppers that may be the responsibility of the retail establishment if they do not provide adequate security.
Elements of Proof in Shopper Premises Liability Cases
To prove that the owner of a property is legally responsible for an accident or injuries sustained on that property, the injured party is required to prove several key elements:
- That a dangerous condition (such as those detailed above) existed on the property and that the store owner or management knew or should have known of its existence.
- That the store owner or management either failed to adequately prevent or repair the dangerous condition, or failed to inspect the property for that condition.
- That the dangerous condition led to the accident, giving rise to the injuries sustained.
- That the injured party sustained actual damages as a result of his or her injuries.
Obviously, store owners cannot prevent all conditions. A store owners as well as shoppers must take reasonable precautions to prevent dangerous conditions from occurring and to avoid them.
Complex legal issues can arise in premises liability cases. If you or someone you care about is hurt while shopping, reach out to the lawyers at NordstrandBlack, PC at (805) 962-2022.