When you enter a retail establishment to do some shopping, you can reasonably expect a level of safety. Typically, the process would involve finding your item of choice, paying for it, and returning home, without any concern of incurring a personal injury.
Pro-athletes are not the only ones that can endure personal injuries when trying to obtain an object of choice. Anyone who has ventured to the shopping malls on “Black Friday”, know what I’m talking about. Shopping-related injuries – especially slips and falls – are very common, as there is thousands of public liability injury claims filed each year regarding this type of injury.
A shopping injury can cover a wide range of accidents at a shopping mall, food market, or some other type of retail establishment. Most injuries are minor, but some can be very serious, and may involve broken bones, back and/or neck injury, head trauma, and even death.
Some common injuries associated with shopping include, but certainly not limited to:
- Slips and falls due to wet floors or torn rugs. Escalators, that stop suddenly, can also cause riders to fall and injury themselves.
- Falls due to shopping carts tipping or being turned over. Wheels that are not stable or other malfunction may cause this type of accident and potential personal injury.
- Falling objects can cause head and back injuries. Knocking into a display case can cause objects to fall. Perhaps you were trying to obtain an item that was just out of reach, and instead of asking for employee assistance, items start falling.
- Many slips and falls occur in a shopping mall parking lot, due to cracks in the pavement and/or improper removal of ice and snow.
- There is also the potential of being injured by trampling, due to mass crowds clamoring for the latest electronic device or hottest toy.
Store owners have a legal responsibility, to keep the premises safe from potential personal injuries to patrons and employees. For instance, broken handrails and steps must be repaired immediately. Also, light bulbs need to be replaced promptly, as to avoid injuries due to poor lighting conditions; spills must be cleaned up quickly and effectively, to prevent slips and falls.
To prove that the retail establishment is liable for your injuries, it must be proven that:
- Regular maintenance on the store’s premises was not performed.
- Known hazardous conditions were not fixed promptly and properly.
- There is a direct connection between the dangerous and/or poorly maintained condition and the personal injury.
- The shopper actually suffered injuries.
In defense, a property owner may state that:
- No hazardous condition existed.
- Any dangerous conditions that may have been present were clearly marked and easily avoided.
- The customers’ injuries were not caused by store negligence.
- The injury was caused when the customer was in a restricted area of the establishment.
- Negligence on the customers’ part is what caused the personal injury.
If you were injured in a public place, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Lennon Mazzeo lawyers at 12/256 Queen St Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia or call their office at +61 3 9670 5999 for a free consultation.