Going to the grocery store or a big box chain to run errands is a common facet of everyday life, but such shopping trips can be surprisingly dangerous. Many companies do not keep their stores in safe condition, making it more likely for shoppers to injure themselves. For instance, thousands of people every year suffer injuries from falling merchandise in big box stores, according to an ABC News report. Tens of thousands more suffer serious harm from escalator accidents. These are just some of the many ways that people can receive severe shopping injuries going about their daily errands.
Fortunately, the law imposes a duty on stores to keep their locations safe, a duty known as premises liability. If a company fails to properly maintain their store, then the company may be liable for injuries that patrons suffer because of those failures.
Types of Injuries
Shopping exposes customers to a wide variety of risks. As discussed above, both falling merchandise and escalator accidents account for thousands of injuries every year, but these are just some of the ways customers can get hurt. Tens of thousands of children each year suffer injuries related to shopping carts. These can include broken bones, head and neck injuries, and even death in the case of falls from the carts. There are also some hazards that change depending on the time of year. For instance, snow and ice can lead to slick parking lots or puddles of water in the store, which can contribute to serious slips and falls.
Premises liability is the legal concept that landowners have a duty to ensure that their land is safe for people to enter. People harmed on unsafe properties can bring a lawsuit against the owner to attempt to recover for their injuries. Doing so successfully requires the injured party to prove three things:
- That they were either lawfully on the property, i.e. not trespassing, or they were trespassing, but the owner knew and acquiesced to it;
- That the owner either knew or should have known of a dangerous condition on the property, and failed to take reasonable steps to ensure people’s safety, like fixing the condition or cordoning it off; and
- That the lack of reasonable precautions caused their injury.
If the injured person can prove these three things, then it is likely that they will be able to recover for the harm that they suffered as a result of the store owner’s negligence.
If you have been injured on a company’s property by their carelessness, contact an experienced Charleston personal injury attorney at Klok Law Firm, LLC today. Our team of experienced professionals can help you learn more about your rights and your options following an injury like this.