One of the most dangerous types of accidents that happens in retail stores results in injuries caused by falling merchandise. A routine shopping trip can turn disastrous if you are struck by products stacked many feet above the ground or heavy merchandise stacked at any height.
This situation could result in severe injuries that could leave you hospitalized for an extended period and possibly affect virtually all areas of your life. Here is what you need to know as a shopper.
Retail stores owe shoppers a duty of care
A retail store is legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for its customers. When store owners fail to protect you from foreseeable harm, they can potentially be held liable for any injuries or accidents.
For instance, merchandise must be secured appropriately when placed on high shelves. If the employees overlook safety procedures leading to an accident, this may be classified as a breach of the store’s duty of care, and you may be able to hold the negligent parties liable as a result.
Steps to take in the event of an injury
First, it is crucial to seek medical care. Some accidents do not lead to immediate symptoms. You may have a blood clot after head trauma or even hairline fractures that are not noticeable after such an accident, which means that you should get checked out even if you don’t “feel” hurt.
Once you have received medical attention, you should notify the store of your injury. You can speak with a store manager or employee and fill out an incident report. Document the incident as thoroughly as possible, including the location of the incident, the object that fell and any witnesses who may have seen what happened.
If the store is willing to cooperate, it may offer a settlement to compensate you for your injuries. However, it is essential to remember that the store may try to avoid taking responsibility for the incident or offer a settlement that is lower than what you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one has been struck by falling merchandise at a retail store, consider urgently seeking legal guidance to understand your rights, the compensation you are entitled to and your options if you encounter difficulty securing a settlement that is fairly valued.