Injuries and Deaths Peak in Stores, Boutiques, and Malls During Holiday Season
Beginning with the mad rush on Black Friday, the shopping peak of the year has arrived. The winter holiday season is to be a time for celebrating. However, for some truly unfortunate people, the holidays are marred because of an accident that occurred while out and about shopping for the season. Injuries in stores and other retail locations (including restaurants) spike upward this time of year – and sometimes alarmingly so.
If you are like most people who will take to the stores this holiday season, you need to understand that being forewarned about potential dangers and your legal rights is to be forearmed. There are some vital facts and factors you need to review and understand to protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday – shopping – season.
Most Common Types of Accidents in Stores During the Holidays
Slip and Falls
Throughout the year, and to an even greater degree during the holiday season, slip and falls are the most commonplace types of accidents that occur in stores, restaurants, and other public locations. The causes of many slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors
- Torn carpets or damage to other types of flooring
- Poor lighting
- Escalator malfunctions
- Cords and other accoutrements associated with holiday decorations
- Overcrowded stores
- Snow and ice
The number of falling object accidents typically increases at least somewhat during the holiday season. Fall object accidents commonly are the fault of objects displayed for sale placed at dangerously high locations. In addition, during the holiday season, falling object accidents occur because of seasonal decorative items that fall and injure shoppers.
Overcrowding as a cause of slip and fall accidents was mentioned a moment ago. With that said, overcrowding injuries warrant special recognition during the holiday season. Of course, Black Friday tends to be a prime example of when brick and mortar world retail stores may be packed to the proverbial gills – because retails do everything in their power to make that happen. The reality is that overcrowded stores and malls are a recurring issue throughout the wintertime holidays. Overcrowding lays the foundation for other types of accidents beyond those associated with slipping and falling.
There is also an increase in the number of people injured because of inappropriately or dangerously protruding objects. Oftentimes, these dangerously protruding items are associated with holiday decorations that are improperly displayed.
Parking Lot Mishaps and Criminal Activity
Parking lots and the grounds around retail venues previously were mentioned in regard to slip and fall accidents. In addition, other types of parking lot mishaps can result in patron injuries. In addition, time and again retailers fail to provide adequate security for their parking lots and parking structures. As a result, shoppers out with the intend of buying gifts for loved ones end up becoming victims of crime – including violence offenses like assaults and rape.
What to do if You are Injured in a Store
There are some very specific steps you need to take if you or a loved one is injured in a store while shopping for the holiday season.
- Address injuries and call 911 if necessary
- Report the incident to the store owner or manager immediately
- Document the accident scene by taking photos or videos, including of injuries
- Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses to the accident; obtain statements if possible
- Obtain insurance contact information from the store (or information about the claims submission process)
- Contact the police if the situation warrants (injuries from a crime committed in the parking lot)
- Consult with a store accident injury lawyer
Oftentimes, a store owner or insurance company associated with a retailer will pressure an injured person to settle quickly and for a dollar amount that actually is well below what an injured person deserves. In the alternative, an insurance company will attempt to unduly delay the claims settlement process to force a settlement. No matter the specifics, you best protect your legal rights following an injury from these types of accidents by consulting with a retail store accident injury lawyer, like a member of the legal team at The Doan Law Firm, a nationwide law practice.
The firm has a retail store accident injury lawyer hotline at (800) 349-0000 that is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – including all day on every major holiday. There is not cost for an initial consultation and case evaluation. No fee is ever charged unless The Doan Law Firm wins for you.