Big Box Stores Are Stacked With Potential Hazards
In Georgia, all retail establishments have a legal responsibility to use reasonable care to protect shoppers and other visitors from being hurt while inside their stores. A retailer that fails to meet this duty can be subject to paying damages if an individual is injured as a result. In the warehouse-type outlets known as big box stores, customers face greater dangers due to the large amounts of merchandise displayed and stored in ways that are often prone to causing accidents.
The term big box store can refer to a home improvement center, a shopping club or any other high-volume retailer. Boxes, trays and other merchandise holders are typically placed on the sales floor or in shelves or storage bins that sometimes require ladders to access. These stores are often thinly staffed and employees may not be well trained in how to properly stack merchandise. Inventory may be put in the wrong place because the store has run out of room, or may be stacked improperly or too high for its size and weight. If a box or other item falls, it might hit a customer or create a tripping hazard unless immediately picked up. In addition, slipping hazards can exist, resulting from newly mopped floors, spilled liquids or tracked-in snow in wintertime. In any of these scenarios, an injured customer or other visitor may be entitled to financial compensation from the retailer.
The key to prevailing in a lawsuit against a retail establishment is proving that the management failed to take reasonable precautions to protect customers. This means demonstrating the condition that caused the accident was within the store’s power to prevent. Once a claim is filed, the store will likely try to prove that the accident was at least partially a result of the customer’s own negligence, like trying to access a product on a high shelf or pulling a box from a stacked display. But the victim can still recover partial damages as long as the store’s negligence was primarily the cause of the accident.
If you or a family member is injured in a big box store, try to take photos of the scene and, if possible, the hazard that led to the accident. Make an immediate report to the store’s management, being sure not to admit any liability on your part. Then, seek prompt medical examination and treatment. Lastly, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your circumstances and advise you on the possibility of a legal claim.
The Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC in Newnan, Georgia is experienced in litigating premises liability cases, including lawsuits in behalf of people injured by dangerous conditions in retail stores. To set up a free initial consultation, please call 470-344-8550 or contact us online.