Injured in a retail store on Black Friday?

Alameda shoppers, like so many others around the country, love to hunt for deals on Black Friday. Although more and more are shopping online these days, brick-and-mortar stores still do their best to lure in bargain hunters before the holidays. Unfortunately, Black Friday shopping in the stores can pose some serious risks to customers' health and safety, particularly when a negligent property owner fails to account for hazardous conditions.

Given the dramatic increase in the number of shoppers crowding a store on Black Friday, any number of dangerous conditions can arise. Somebody who drops a coffee or a soda on the floor may leave it and keep pushing forward to the next deal down the aisle. Or perhaps someone knocks a gallon container of some kind of liquid off a shelf.

If employees and management are not on the lookout for spills, floors can quickly become slippery and dangerous. Wet floors need to be promptly demarcated as such in order to keep customers out of the slippery area. Then they need to be cleaned up in order to protect customers from slip-and-fall accidents.

On a shopping day like Black Friday, store owners, managers and employees may simply feel too overwhelmed to try to deal with hazardous conditions like wet floors in a timely manner, but that is no excuse. While the store should be responsive to an injured customer's claim, some will try to shift the blame back on to the customer in order to minimize the compensation they might have to pay. Customers injured in a slip-and-fall accident may wish to consult with a legal professional about a premises liability lawsuit. Injuries from these types of accidents can be serious, with long-term consequences, and customers have rights when injured due to a property owner's negligence.

Source: 11 Alive, "Black Friday snafus and the insurance that fixes them," Barbara Marquand, Nov. 20, 2017

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