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Injuries on retail property

As summer break nears its end, you may have many items on your to-do list. While you may not yet be thinking of winterizing your South Carolina home or planning Thanksgiving dinner, you certainly have back-to-school preparations to complete. One of the most important tasks on your list is shopping for clothes, shoes and school supplies.

In this era of the distracted driver, you may think your risk of injury ends when you park your car and head across the shopping center parking lot. However, if the property owner or manager has not taken the appropriate steps to identify and remedy any hazards, you may be in danger of injury performing something as simple and routine as shopping.

What are the common hazards?

When analysts refer to shopping injuries, they are not talking about the injury to your bank account or credit score. They mean physical injuries that hundreds of shoppers suffer on retail property each year. The fact that purchasing clothes, buying groceries or just browsing seem like such unassuming activities may make you think a shopping injury could not be all that serious. However, under certain circumstances, shopping injuries may be serious indeed. Some can be fatal.

The types of accidents you may face while in a retail environment include the following:

  • Slipping on wet or slick floors
  • Tripping over uneven surfaces or clutter in aisles
  • Suffering injuries from malfunctioning escalators, conveyor belts or automatic doors
  • Striking your head on low-hanging objects
  • Falling on stairs that are poorly lit or maintained
  • Suffering a fall in a poorly lit or uneven parking lot
  • Suffering an assault when there is inadequate security

While you may be fortunate to receive only a bump or cut from your accident, you may just as well require medical treatment for your injuries. Accidents on retail property can result in broken bones including hip fractures, head injuries, spinal and neck injuries, and even fatal injuries.

You may attribute the accident to your own clumsiness. Many shoppers do this from embarrassment. However, if the owner of manager of the property knew or should have known about the hazard and did nothing to fix it or warn you about it, you may have a premises liability claim that could result in compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Such claims are complex and often difficult to prove, so it is wise to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced legal professional.

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