Injury Claims Against Stores and Shopping Centers
By Griff O'Hanlon, Virginia Store Accident Injury Attorney
Stores may not appear to be dangerous places, but we receive plenty of calls from people who have been injured at box stores, in shopping malls or other retail environments.
In some cases, these apparent accidents are not accidents at all, but are caused by the failure of employees or owners to keep their premises safe.
Although not all injuries in stores will warrant a premises liability lawsuit, you should be aware of your rights if you are hurt in a store.
Shopping-related injuries lead to thousands of personal injury claims every year. Here are some of the main types of accidents that occur at a store.
1 Slip and fall Injuries on wet floors:
2 Objects falling on shoppers:
3 Slips on ice or uneven surfaces outside a store;
4 Elevator and escalator accidents:
5 Attacks on shoppers in malls with inadequate security.
6 Shopping cart injuries.
If you are hurt at a store, it’s important to inform the store of your injury. However, you should go further. Take pictures at the scene and get details of witnesses if you can. Stores will often try to cover up evidence, even down to destroying video tapes. Your personal injury lawyer can force the store to keep important evidence of the accident.
There are some things you should bear in mind before making a claim against a store. You have to prove the store knew or should have known about a danger. If an employee spills cleaning fluid, 10 seconds before you fell on the floor, it’s unlikely to be possible to hold the store responsible. However, if the fluid was lying around and nobody cleaned up the hazard or put up signs, you could have grounds for a case against the store.
You should also not have contributed to your accident. If your child falls out of a cart because he or she is not strapped in, you are unlikely to have grounds to file a lawsuit. If your child falls out because the cart is unstable or the strap fails, your case is stronger. The store owner has a number of potential defenses including having no prior knowledge of the danger, the hazard being so obvious it should have been avoided, taking reasonable steps to correct it and shoppers being in areas they are not authorized to be in.
Injuries in stores can be serious and include broken bones, head trauma, spinal injury and even deaths in extreme circumstances. Stores can be particularly dangerous during busy times such as Christmas and on “Black Friday” and other holidays.
If you have been injured at a store or at any other premises, call our premises liability team today at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers to have your claim evaluated at (757) 455-0077.