Over the holidays, spending time at the mall, the grocery store or other retail establishments is a given for most people. Getting gifts for friends, picking up food for entertaining and picking up decorations are all on the holiday to-do list for most people. With so much to buy, it is no surprise that the festive season is the time of year when retail stores make the most money and when people may spend more of their time shopping than at any other time of the year.
As you visit shopping malls and retail stores this winter season, our Chicago accident attorneys urge you to exercise caution and to be aware of some of the key shopping dangers. Going to stores over the holiday season can be risky and you don't want your shopping excursion to turn into a disaster.
Holiday Shopping Risks
There are a lot of different holiday shopping risks that customers might encounter as they do their purchasing over the season of celebration. For example, some of the hazards awaiting shoppers include:
- Unruly crowds. You're especially likely to encounter large mobs on the most popular shopping days like Christmas Eve.
- Crowded aisles. Even when the stores aren't completely packed with people, they may have a ton of inventory stacked up and around to try to meet the holiday demand. People may also not put items back in their place, resulting in even more congested store aisles.
- Unsafe shelves. Stores may overload shelving space to try to fit in all of the products they want to sell, and customers may place items back on shelves without making sure that the items are secure. With too much stuff on shelves and items precariously placed, there's a very real chance that something could fall off of a shelf and onto you.
- Slippery floors. It is inevitable that other shoppers are going to track snow into stores when they come in from outside if there is snow on the ground. Between snow, slush and other bad winter weather, floors may become slippery very quickly. A slippery floor can also result from store staff trying to clean up the floors after crowds of shoppers come.
- Dishonest thieves. Prime shopping days tend to bring out people who want to steal from other shoppers.
- Dangerous escalators and elevators. Each year, people are caught in escalators and are seriously hurt. Elevator accidents, while not as common, can also be dangerous or deadly as a shopper could fall down an elevator shaft or be crushed in the doors.
These are just a few of the many hazards you may encounter when shopping for the holidays. In almost every case, the store may be considered to be responsible for causing your injury and/or negligently failing to protect you as a customer. This can be true even in cases where you were robbed by a third party if the store was considered to be negligent in providing security. If the stores' negligence or carelessness led in any way to your injury, you may be able to file a premises liability claim against the store.
If you have been injured in a Chicago accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.