I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
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.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.