Every year in New York and across the U.S., thousands of people file lawsuits involving shopping-related injuries. These injuries normally result from slips, trips and falls in stores, malls, and other retail establishments and tend to be minor. In serious cases, though, they may result in head and neck injuries, broken bones and sprains.
Injuries arise in many ways. Entrants may slip on a wet floor, trip on torn carpeting or fall down a flight of poorly lit stairs. Escalators may malfunction, shopping carts may turn over and displays may fall over. Some may be trampled in a shopping spree, while others may be injured on the icy or cracked pavement of parking lots. If victims believe the store owner is responsible, they could file a personal injury lawsuit.
Store owners must exercise reasonable care in keeping their property free of hazards. For example, they must quickly clean up messes, pick up fallen objects, repair loose railings and provide adequate security. If they know about a danger but do nothing in a reasonable amount of time, they could be accused of negligence. On the other hand, store owners can defend themselves by saying they exercised reasonable care or by saying that the condition was so obvious that anyone could have avoided it.
This is why victims who believe they have a case under premises liability law may want to hire an attorney. The attorney may be able to build up the case with the assistance of investigators, medical experts and other third parties. He or she may then negotiate for a settlement with the other side. If negotiations fall through, filing a lawsuit might be advisable.