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Safe Holiday Shopping – Premises Liability in Alabama

Dec 20, 2012 - Personal Injury by

Shopping for gifts, entertaining guests and decorating are all hallmarks of the holiday season. In doing all of these activities, there is a good chance that you will be visiting grocery stores, department stores, big box stores and shopping malls — probably more so than at any other time during the year.

As you make your way to the mall and other retail outlets, it is important that you do everything in your power to stay safe. Our injury attorneys in Birmingham have some advice to help you avoid some potential dangers so you don’t fall victim to a holiday shopping accident. 604006_shoppingcenter

Staying Safe at the Shopping Mall This Season
Whether you are in a grocery store, department store, mall or other shopping venue over the holidays, there are certain things that present a risk to your safety and that could result in injury. Knowing about the risks and using a little bit of extra caution can go a long way towards avoiding injury. For example, some of the common sources of danger or potential risks to be aware of include:

  • Elevators. While not terribly common, elevator accidents can occur. People get caught in elevator doors or fall down elevator shafts. This usually results from an improperly maintained elevator.
  • Escalator accidents. Escalator accidents present a greater risk than elevator accidents, especially to young kids. Shoelaces or loose clothing can cause you to get trapped in an escalator and there is serious danger of being injured by the escalator’s metal teeth.
  • Slip and fall accidents. The risk of slip and fall accidents is increased as a result of ice and snow dragged into stores by crowds, as well as because of overly crowded aisles and aisles where people may have left debris.
  • Items falling on your head. Stores often overstock shelves to try to fit in all of the items people may want to buy, resulting in a danger of visitors being struck by falling items. People shopping may also put items back in the wrong place where they could fall down onto patrons.
  • Crowd control incidents. When a store is overcrowded on popular shopping days, you could get trampled, pushed, hit or otherwise injured. You might even be hurt as a result of an altercation with a shopper. These injuries can occur when a store fails to have proper crowd control measures set up to protect shoppers.
  • Criminal acts. Many opportunistic thieves and con-artists hit the shopping malls during the prime shopping days where they think they will find easy targets. Criminals could follow you back to your car, steal your packages, grab your purse or do any number of other wrongful acts and, in some cases, you might get hurt in the process.

Stores and property owners have an obligation to keep premises safe and to provide adequate security. While you can file a legal claim against the store to recover compensation if you’ve been hurt, it is far better to be aware of shopping risks and avoid injury in the first place.

Additional Resources

Birmingham Injury Risks and Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Published by Cross & Smith LLC, November 14, 2012.

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