Big box and warehouse stores are a common sight for shoppers these days. While their low prices and convenience can attract consumers, patrons should also keep an eye on their surroundings to ensure their safety. Many of these stores stack their merchandise in order to save on warehouse space and keep more inventory on hand. Some stores even have shelf after shelf filled all the way to the ceiling. Unfortunately, these towers of products can injure consumers, especially if the store did not stack or secure them properly. In fact, according to national statistics, thousands of people each year suffer injuries from falling merchandise.
How Do Falling Merchandise Accidents Happen?
Falling merchandise injuries can occur in several ways. First, the store could improperly stack or secure the merchandise, leaving it ready to fall on a customer who happens to pass below it at the wrong time. Second, the fall could happen when an employee tries to take something off the shelf for a customer waiting below. If the store has not properly trained its employees or failed to provide them with the adequate equipment for retrieving the items, the employee could drop the merchandise or knock something else off the shelf.
Finally, the customer themselves may trigger the fall in the course of trying to get an item, especially if the store stacks the products unsafely or does not have enough staff on hand to assist the customer. Fortunately, many shoppers who find themselves injured this way have an opportunity to protect themselves under Virginia law.
The law contains a concept known as “premises liability,” which says that people have some duty to ensure that others do not come to harm on their property. In Illinois, this means that businesses must exercise reasonable care to ensure that their patrons do not hurt themselves while in the store. The law breaks this down a bit further, saying that businesses become liable for their shopper’s injuries when:
- They know or should know that a condition exists that poses an unreasonable risk to their customers
- They expect that the customers will not realize the risk or that they will not protect themselves from it
- They fail to exercise reasonable care to prevent the injury
Falling merchandise injuries often fulfill these requirements because the store creates the danger and then fails to protect shoppers against it.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
Despite how many safety tips a person follows, there are many premises liability accidents that occur at retail establishments that result in injuries to customers. are caused by the negligence of another party. When this happens, the victim can pursue damages for financial compensation for the losses their injury caused them.
There are a number of damages that victims can pursue in their claim, including medical expenses for treatment of their injuries, lost wages and benefits if they were unable to work while they recovered, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and more.
Call a Virginia premises liability attorney from Shapiro, Appleton, Washburn & Sharp to find out how we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. Our accident attorneys have successfully represented numerous accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.
- Virginia Laws on Slips & Falls
- A Virginia Premises Liability Attorney Discusses Property Owners’ Duty of Care
- Slips & Falls Cause Many Traumatic Brain Injuries in Virginia