Common hazards at stores, malls are preventable

Even with the proliferation of online shopping, doorstep delivery and the like, there are times when people in the greater Bay Area still need to set out to a grocery store, a shopping mall or some other brick-and-mortar retail location.

While one might not realize it, they are to some extent putting their health and, in rare cases, even their lives at risk when doing so. There are in fact many different ways people can suffer serious injuries at a retail location.

Many if not most of these injuries are preventable when the owner of the business, or the property manager who serves the location, takes some rather simple steps to ensure the safety of shoppers.

For instance, many injuries at stores happen because a patron trips or slips and falls down, sometimes even taking a tumble down an escalator. These sorts of accidents happen when a floor is in bad repair or is slick because of a spill, a recent cleaning or even because people tracked in water on a rainy day. People can also get hurt falling in parking lots that may be fracturing or that may be covered with ice on an unusually cold day. A business owner can prevent falls by keeping its space clean, uncluttered, dry and well-lit.

Likewise, injuries can also happen on account of falling objects. Heavy merchandise or even a display can, if not set up properly, fall suddenly and strike an unsuspecting shopper on the head. Again, business owners can prevent these sorts of injuries simply by making sure items in high places are secure and warning customers not to try to reach items that are out of reach.

Injuries that happen to shoppers at stores are often preventable by the merchant. When a merchant does not take reasonable steps to make its property safe, a victim may be able to file a premises liability suit to recover compensation.

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