Why Do Slip and Fall Accidents Frequently Happen at Big-Box Stores?
With the holidays approaching, large retail stores will be filled with shoppers filling up their carts with gifts, food, and other merchandise. With so many people and shelves loaded with products, it is not surprising that these stores can be a high-risk for slip and fall accidents and injuries. It is important to keep these hazards in mind while shopping at these big-box retailers this season.
How Do Injuries Happen at Large Retail Stores?
Getting to the big-box store entrance safely could be dangerous if the parking lot is crowded with holiday shoppers. It is common for motorists to be stressed, agitated, and aggressive, so driving carefully will help prevent a car accident or pedestrian accident.
Some of these stores also do not have security precautions, so shoppers and employees could get assaulted and robbed. Inadequate lighting could be an invitation to a criminal who is planning to commit a crime. On the other hand, if a security guard employs excessive force when dealing with a shopper, that shopper could get seriously hurt.
Slip and fall injuries are probably more common in big-box stores, though. These could also occur if there is poor lighting or if the parking lot was not cleared after a snowfall or ice storm. Debris could also be piled up outside or inside, and a busy shopper who does not see the hazard could fall. Many of these stores also serve food and drinks, and refreshments could be spilled onto the floors. If it is not cleaned up fast enough, an unsuspecting guest could easily slip and get injured.
Big-box stores are also known for having lots of inventory. If an item is not placed as it should be, it could drop down and injure someone. Broken ladders, dollies, and other equipment that are not used or stored properly are other hazards.
Who is Responsible for an Injury at a Retail Store?
Like other businesses, big-box stores are legally responsible for keeping their customers, delivery drivers, employees, and other authorized visitors safe from getting hurt. If safety standards are not met and it leads to injuries, a business could be held financially liable. When business owners and managers know about or should have known about a hazard but did not correct it, they might be at fault for the injured party’s injuries.
These large stores often lease out parts of the property to different companies, such as cellphone providers; contractors may also be on-site, working on the premises. These outside entities can also be held liable if their actions contributed to an accident. Should an illegal trespasser cause the injuries, though, the store would likely not be held responsible.
What Happens After a Big-Box Store Accident?
The first step to do after a big-box store injury is to seek medical attention, and a call to emergency services may be needed. A store representative will soon arrive at the scene, and they will then follow store protocols to document what happened. At this time, it is best for the injured person to stick to the facts and not admit fault of any kind. The store may ask the victim to complete an accident report.
The victim and anyone who is with them at the scene should get the names and contact information of employees at the scene. It is also best to take photographs and to note any unsafe conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Taking down a few notes is also helpful since it is not always easy to recall the details afterwards. If there are any witnesses to the accident, someone can ask them for contact information as they may be able to provide first-hand evidence.
The photographs and information gathering stage are both essential to proving big-box stores liability cases. These can help show that the store or other party caused the injuries by having a dangerous situation that they neglected to fix. Showing that the store had reasonable notice about the situation and the opportunity to address it is the path toward proving liability.
Should I Hire a Lawyer After an Accident at a Big-Box Store?
Going up against a large corporation that may be liable for a slip and fall injury can be very intimidating. An injured victim may benefit from trusted legal guidance to help build their personal injury case. If a victim thinks that a big-box store could be responsible for their slip and fall injuries, they should immediately get in touch with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer will evaluate whether the victim is eligible to receive damages for their injuries.
New Brunswick Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims Receive Compensation After Big-Box Store Accidents
During the holiday season, slip and fall accidents are more prone to happen. If you were recently hurt in a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our New Brunswick slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr help victims get compensation. Call us at 732-537-8570 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.