One moment you are in bargain-seeking heaven, the next you are flat on your back on the floor of the store and in excruciating pain. If this happens to you, don't be so embarrassed that you automatically blame the fall on your own clumsiness; many store accidents happen when those businesses fail to protect shoppers from hazards. Read on to learn more about dealing with a accident in a place of business where you were hurt due to negligence.
Were You Warned?
You have the right to shop in a safe environment, free of dangerous hazards. Stores must not only provide you with with safe environment, but they must also warn you of any hazards that could trip you up and land you in the hospital. For example, a store has a duty to place a warning at store entrances on wet days, since it may not be realistic to expect the store to constantly dry the floor after each customer tracks in water.
The store is also liable for accidents they, at first appearance, had nothing to do with. Take the following scenario: a customer drops his sample cup of sliced fruit on the floor and you slip on it and are hurt when you hit the floor. While it may not appear to be the store's fault, it actually is. The store has been handing out free samples of sticky fruit that day, so they are liable for your injuries and not the other clumsy customer.
Common Shopping Dangers
- Rugs or mats that are wrinkled up, which could cause people to trip and fall.
- Cords or cables that snake across the path of customers, creating a trip hazard (and maybe a shock hazard as well).
- A leaking freezer unit that creates a puddle in the floor.
- A poorly constructed stack of canned goods in the middle of the isle.
- A poorly lit parking lot where several crimes have already been committed.
And many more.
The Burden of Due Care
Stores are not always entirely liable for every single accident that happens on their premises. Customers are expect to be aware of their surroundings and to use "due care" when shopping. If you disregard common sense and get hurt, you may not be able to prove that the store was at fault. For example, if signs warn customers not to attempt to reach items on upper shelves themselves but to call for help, you should not expect to be compensated when you climb up there yourself and fall.
Contact a professional like Jack W Hanemann, P.S. for more information.