Premises Liability and the Holiday Shopping Season

November 26, 2012, by

Visiting shopping malls and other retail establishments is a fun pastime for many. Whether you are shopping for holiday gifts around the Christmas season or simply visiting the mall to browse or pick up a few items, shopping can be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. However, shopping malls and stores are not without risk, especially during crowded shopping days and special sales events.

Our personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina urge all shoppers to understand the risks and to exercise care this holiday season. 442708_shopping.jpg

Shopping Accident Risks
Shopping accidents can happen at any time, although the risk of accidents increases during special store events or busy shopping days like Black Friday or Christmas Eve when the malls and stores are likely to be overrun with eager and sometimes aggressive shoppers.

Some of the dangers that shoppers face when out browsing and buying include:

  • Elevator and Escalator Accidents
  • Falls on stairs, in stairwells or movie theaters.
  • The risk of crushing injuries in elevator doors.
  • The risk of falling on a slippery or wet floor.
  • The risk of falling while straining or climbing to reach items on high shelves.
  • The risk of items falling from high shelves onto you.
  • Evacuation injuries.
  • Assault, robbery and auto theft.

In many cases, the store has an obligation to try to prevent these dangers and to protect you while you are shopping. If the store fails in this obligation, they can be held liable for injuries that result through a premises liability lawsuit.

Tips to Avoid Shopping Accidents

While some shopping accidents are simply out of your control, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and stay safe. Some safe shopping tips include the following:

  • Skip busy shopping days unless you have to shop during these times. When more bargain-hunters are out, the risk of being injured or robbed increases.
  • Watch out for wet and slippery floors, especially if it is raining.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide a solid grip on the floor and good balance.
  • Shop with a friend or family member. Stay together, have a designated meeting place in case you get separated and note what your shopping partners are wearing so you can find them more easily in a crowd.
  • Alert a store employee if you suspect something is wrong or if you feel that you are in danger. When walking to your car, especially with lots of packages or late at night, consider asking for a store employee to escort you.
  • Stay out of narrow and overcrowded aisles and exercise caution if boxes or merchandise are stacked precariously on shelves.
  • Keeping your purse close to your body or keep your money in a wallet that is out-of-site and on your person.

By following these safety tips, you can reduce the risk of a shopping accident occurring both on crowded shopping days and on any trip to the mall or a retail establishment.

If you suffer injury on business property, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You've Been Paid. Exclusive of Cases Costs.

Additional Resources:
Fall Accidents, Premises Liability & Risks Among Older Adults, By Grimes Teich Anderson, LLP, Nov 1, 2012.

Premises Liability: Trial Preparation Vital to Successful Outcome, By Grimes Teich Anderson, LLP, Sept. 11, 2012.