When people go out to a retail store to shop and are injured, it can result in a claim against the business. These injuries may include slips and falls, head and body injuries, harm due to overcrowding or parking lot injuries.
Slips and falls can be caused by wet or uneven flooring, low lighting or weather conditions. Parking lot injuries can also occur if the outside of the store has damaged pavement or sidewalks.
When stores are especially busy, like during holidays or other special events overcrowding can cause injuries from shoving or trampling. Falling objects or out of reach products can cause head and body injuries.
Stores are required to clean up water quickly, remove fallen objects, repair broken pavement or sidewalks and replace damaged lighting to help avoid injuries. This demonstrates that they are using reasonable care to ensure the store’s premises are reasonably safe for shoppers.
Shoppers who are injured may state that the store owner failed to keep the premises safe or did not warn them of known hazards. Although the outcome will be specific to the individual circumstances of the incident, there are some defenses store owners can consider.
If the defect did not exist, that may be a defense to the claim. Also, if the injury was caused by a defect that the store owner detected and reasonably fixed, that may also be a defense.
Store owners can incur significant expenses and reputational harm if there is a claim made against them by a shopper. An experienced attorney can review the situation, provide guidance about next steps and represent him or her against the claim.