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Early holiday season shopping could lead to injuries

Now that Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving is on the horizon, people in Miami might be giving a thought to their holiday shopping, particularly Black Friday. Stores offer great deals and are open extended hours at this time of the year to entice shoppers in. However, with an influx of patrons brings the duty for storeowners to be extra-vigilant that their premises are safe for customers.

Thousands of people are injured every year in shopping-related incidents. This is concerning, as most shoppers are simply looking for a bargain or a gift that is "just right," and assume the store premises are safe. Unfortunately, if a store owner fails to keep their store safe for shoppers or fails to warn shoppers of known dangers, shoppers can be injured. If so, they may want to learn more about filing a premises liability claim.

There are numerous ways a shopper can be injured in a store. A shopper could lose their balance and slip on a wet floor or trip over torn carpet. Store displays could fall on top of a customer, or a broken shopping cart could overturn. Over-crowding could lead to injuries. Even cracked and broken sidewalks and parking lots could lead to injuries.

Under the laws of premises liability, store owners have a duty to ensure that their store is reasonably safe from any dangers or hazards that may be hidden or that they may believe could hurt someone. For example, spills should be promptly mopped up, objects or displays should not crowd aisles, broken stairways or escalators should be repaired or roped off and there should be enough security to keep shoppers safe. If a store owner owed shoppers a duty of care, which was breached leading a shopper to suffer an injury, the shopper may want to learn more about his or her legal options.

Some people may look forward to holiday shopping, while others may dread it. However, holiday shopping is as much of a tradition in November and going into December, as is the Thanksgiving turkey. So, while shoppers are hoping to score a great deal on the perfect gift, store owners must take care to ensure their customers' safety. If a customer is injured in a store this holiday season, they will want to take the steps necessary to address the situation, including taking legal action if appropriate.

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