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When is a store owner responsible for a shopper's injuries?

Shoppers who brave the Black Friday crowds the day after Thanksgiving aren't the only ones who can suffer injuries while doing their holiday shopping or hunting for bargains. Thousands of people are injured in this country every year while shopping.

Some injuries are the result of careless or reckless behavior, such as running up the down escalators or texting while walking through a parking lot rather than watching for cars. However, some are caused by store and shopping center owners' failure to warn shoppers and others of potential hazards or neglecting to keep the property safe.

Following are the most common shopping-related injuries:

Slips and falls: These can be caused by things like wet floors, torn or uneven carpet and poor lighting.

Injuries from falling objects: These can include displays that fall over, items falling from high shelves (sometimes when customers are trying to reach them).

Parking lot injuries: Whether it's ice and snow or potholes and cracked asphalt, there are many potential dangers lurking. Poor lighting can increase these hazards, as well as enhance shoppers' risks of becoming victims of crime.

Crowd injuries: People can be severely injured if they are being trampled. These can happen on busy days (like Black Friday) or even when a store is selling out of a popular item.

When can a property owner be held liable for a shopper's injuries? A plaintiff needs to show that:

  • The owner failed to adequately maintain the store or regularly inspect it for hazards.
  • The owner as aware of a hazardous condition or should have been aware of it.
  • The dangerous condition caused the injury.
  • Damages resulted from the injury.

If you believe that your shopping injury could and should have been prevented by the property owner, it's wise to consult with a Mississippi personal injury attorney. They can help you determine whether you have a case, and if so, help you pursue a claim for compensation.

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