On Black Friday, hundreds of thousands of Dallas-area shoppers will hit the stores in the hunt for the perfect deal on a coveted Christmas gift. The stores will be crowded, disorganized, and poorly managed, resulting in an increased risk of an accident. With frazzled employees who are more focused on quickly cashing out stressed customers, dangerous conditions often arise in the store.
Common Dangerous Conditions in Retail Stores
Sometimes, spills happen and are entirely unpreventable. When an accidental spill occurs, the store is responsible for cleaning the spill to prevent unsuspecting customers from sliding in the slippery mess and injuring themselves.
In addition to spills, puddles caused by inclement weather commonly result in slick entryways and droplets accumulating throughout the store due to wet umbrellas and shoes. The store is responsible for drying the puddles and adequately warning patrons of the wet conditions.
Furthermore, due to the chaos of Black Friday, customers in a mad dash to grab a low-stock item may leave a mess in their wake with toppled boxes and debris on the ground. The store must keep the aisles clear to allow customers to safely walk through and must pick up any debris.
Other common falls occur due to:
- Poorly maintained stairs or escalators
- Uneven flooring
- Icy sidewalks in front of the store
What to Do if You Are Injured
If you are enjoying Black Friday shopping and then are unexpectedly injured after falling, you may have legal recourse against the store for your injuries. Personal injury law is a type of civil lawsuit premised upon negligence. Negligence is a broad area of law that encompasses many different types of accidents, defendants, and burdens of proof. Slip-and-fall accidents are grouped under premises liability. Premises liability specifically covers injuries sustained while on someone else’s property, such as Walmart’s. Stores have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for shoppers. If a dangerous condition exists or arises, the store is responsible for taking reasonable steps to remedy it.
For instance, if someone knocks a gallon of milk over, causing it to spill on the ground, the store is responsible for mopping it up. If a customer slips on the milk and is injured, the store can be civilly liable for damages if it knew or should have known about the spill and failed to take reasonable and timely steps to address the spill.
Often times, the contested issue rests on whether the store should have known about the spill if there is no actual notice. If dozens of employees are stationed throughout Walmart and the milk sits on the floor for several hours, juries will commonly find that Walmart should have inspected the store for issues during that lengthy time period, which would have led to discovery of the milk.
Contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP Today
Were you or a loved one injured in a Dallas slip-and-fall at a retail store? Call our talented Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys at (214) 231-0544 or toll free at (800) 738-4046 now to schedule a free consultation.