When you left your house to go shopping, your biggest concern was probably staying within your budget. Perhaps you were looking for something in particular. Then again, maybe you were just out to window shop in the hopes of finding something you didn't know you wanted.
In any case, your shopping trip went from a fun day out to a tragedy. Like many others here in Florida and elsewhere, emergency medical personnel transported you with serious injuries to a hospital in the area. Now, you have extensive medical bills, a long recovery period and little to no income, possibly for an extended period.
What types of accidents constitute shopping injuries?
Slip and falls do make up a certain percentage of shopping injuries due to a variety of factors, such as wet floors, poorly lit areas and uneven walking surfaces. However, those are not the only injuries suffered. The following could also happen:
- Your risk of injury begins in the parking lot, which, if not well designed, could put you in danger of a car striking you, or tripping, slipping and falling. If poorly maintained, it could present dangers such as uneven or icy surfaces.
- Many retail establishments keep extra stock up above the shelves. If not put away correctly, it could fall and cause you head and body injuries.
- Poorly laid-out aisles can lead to overcrowding. You could end up suffering injuries if other customers trample or otherwise knock you down.
- If you have ever gotten the shopping cart with that one wheel that doesn't work, it may not surprise you that it could tip over and cause you to fall or suffer other injuries.
Store and property owners owe you a duty of reasonable safety while you are on the premises. If the evidence proves that negligence led to your injuries, a civil court could award you monetary damages to help you with the financial losses you incurred in connection with your injuries.
Elements of a premises liability claim
In order to pursue the compensation you deserve, you must first show the court the following:
- The storeowner was aware, or should have been aware, of the danger.
- Maintenance and/or repairs to the store were not adequate.
- The storeowner failed to make periodic inspections of the premises in order to identify any possible dangers to you and others.
- In the absence of the danger, your injuries wouldn't have happened.
- You can establish a link between the dangerous condition and your injuries.
- You need to show you suffered actual damages because of your injuries.
Knowing whether your situation satisfies these requirements may not be easy. Instead of attempting to make that determination on your own, you could schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who can review the circumstances, explain your rights and let you know whether filing a claim is appropriate.