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What Happens If You Have An Accident At A Big Box Store?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2014 | Firm News

As full of bargains as big box stores such as Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco et al are, they can also be full of hazards, especially if the store’s management isn’t as on the ball regarding safety as they should be, or if corners are cut. For some shoppers, this kind of laxity results in them coming away from their trip with far more than they bargained for.

Our expert New York premises liability lawyers, can help you get the settlement you are entitled to. Call us today on 917-730-7151.

As anyone who has ever been to a big box store, supercenter, or warehouse club knows, that “pile ‘em high, sell ‘em low” mantra usually leads to merchandise being stacked from floor to ceiling, sometimes in a very precarious fashion. From heavy white goods to bulk packs of foodstuffs, the opportunities for personal injury from falling objects are legion, and it’s easy to see how accidents can, and do, happen.

It’s not only shoppers who get injured, however; store employees are at risk too. A recent study conducted by the CDC concluded that ‘contact with objects’ accounted for the highest number of non-fatal injuries among retail employees. Of course, not all those injuries were from falling objects but the fact remains that big box stores are a veritable breeding ground for those kinds of hazards.

What can I do if I sustain an injury from a falling object in a store?
The first course of action should be to book a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who has premises liability expertise. Initial consultations are generally free, which means you can afford to shop around, so to speak.

Email New York premises liability lawyers, Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP, or call 917-730-7151.

Your personal injury lawyer will discuss with you, exactly what happened, and will be able to determine whether the store is liable or not. If they are, then there are three ways you might be able to sue:

Premises liability
Store owners have a responsibility to the public and to their employees to keep their premises safe and free from danger. Should they be aware of a potential hazard, and yet refrain from ensuring the safety of others who are then injured by said hazard, they may well be liable.

Negligence with regard to training and/or supervision
Employers have a responsibility to provide correct training to their staff, and to supervise them where appropriate and necessary. Failure to do so can lead to improperly stacked goods, personal injury, and lawsuits.

Vicarious liability
If an employee has received the proper training but has nevertheless been negligent in his or her work (e.g. if they have stacked goods haphazardly), the liability may still rest with the employer.

In some cases, a lawsuit may involve a combination of some or all of the above, so it’s essential you hire a personal injury lawyer with premises liability experience, who will be able to advise you.

In addition to falling objects, other injuries may occur at stores;

  • slip and falls from frayed and worn floor coverings, dim lighting, dangerous stairways, and malfunctioning escalators.
  • head and body injuries from displays and signs.
  • shopping cart injuries which may occur if a cart tips over, for example.
  • overcrowding, especially during sales, may lead to falls and trampling.
  • parking lots can also be hazardous, particularly during the winter, when snow and ice might not have been cleared, or a poorly-maintained lot might cause someone to trip and fall.

In some instances, it may not be just the store owner who is liable but also their management company, maintenance firm, or the person who is leasing the premises. Again, a personal injury attorney will be able to navigate the complexities of premises liability law, and get you the settlement you are entitled to.

If you are the victim of an accident in a store in in New York City, and want to know whether you have a case, call our expert premises liability attorneys at Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLPon 917-730-7151, for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine which course of action you should take. Alternatively, you can email us with your query.