What Should I Do if I Get Hurt on a Retail Property?
March 19, 2023
Thousands of shoppers experience injuries at retail stores across the country every year. There are many ways injuries can happen on a retail property, including heavy items falling, improperly installed shelves, spills or clutter in aisles, and inadequate lighting. Sometimes, crimes occur on a retail property that lead to severe physical and emotional injuries. Improperly maintained elevators and escalators can have catastrophic consequences on innocent families. Injured store patrons should consult with an experienced attorney who will evaluate their case, investigate the incident, and obtain the evidence needed to prove premises liability.
Under Pennsylvania law, retailers have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe premises for people at their facility. Store invitees or visitors who are legally protected include, but are not limited to, shoppers, delivery drivers, and contractors.
Retail store negligence is more common than many people may realize. If you encounter a retail store hazard and an accident occurs, the store and its employees can be held liable for your resulting injuries and damages. Corporations, businesses, store managers, and staff members can all be held liable for injuries that happen on a retail property.
In many cases, a third-party lawsuit can be brought against other individuals or companies responsible for keeping the retail space safe and free of hazards. Retail stores often hire contractors, maintenance workers, and cleaning staff from outside organizations. These parties are also responsible for keeping the retail property safe and regularly inspected for hazardous conditions.
Despite the requirement that property owners must keep their premises reasonably safe, countless accidents with life-altering injuries happen at retail stores across the country every year. Proving liability and successfully pursuing all claims can be difficult without the guidance of an experienced premises liability lawyer. For this reason, it is critical to speak with a lawyer if you have been hurt on a retail property.
A lawyer will review the details of your case, help identify all liable parties, and determine the best course of action for your specific legal matter. It is crucial to have trusted legal counsel to help investigate your accident and gather evidence, such as video footage, photographs, police reports, eyewitness statements, and inspection and maintenance paperwork. A lawyer knows how to build a strong case against negligent retail property owners and other parties responsible for your injuries.
A premises liability lawyer can assist with your case in the following ways:
- Handle the entire claim from start to finish.
- Identify the liable retail property owner.
- Investigate all third-party responsibility.
- Evaluate all insurance policies.
- Determine the potential value of your claim.
- Negotiate with the insurance company or opposing party.
- Settle your matter or take your case to trial.
- Ease your stress.
What Are Common Causes of Retail Property Injuries?
The most common cause of retail property injuries is negligence on the part of the store and/or its staff members. Another common contributor to this type of harm is lack of proper training, policies, or procedures to prevent injuries on and around the retail space. In addition, while parties responsible for the property are required to inspect it regularly to ensure there are no dangers, they often fail to do so.
The following are common examples of negligence that cause retail property injuries:
- Wet floors without warning signs displayed.
- Clutter and other debris in store aisles.
- Inadequate security in places with known criminal activity.
- Poorly lit parking lots and other outdoor spaces.
- Improperly installed or faulty shelves.
- Display cases with sharp or jagged edges.
- Dangerously stocked heavy items.
- Poorly maintained steps and walkways.
- Missing or broken handrails in stairwells.
- Inadequate snow and ice removal from parking lots.
- Malfunctioning elevators and escalators.
What Are Common Retail Property Injuries?
Unsuspecting individuals to retail properties can experience a wide range of injuries that result in the need to file a premises liability lawsuit. While retail property injuries may vary in terms of severity, they can all take a painful physical, emotional, and/or financial toll on the injured person and their family.
Some common types of retail property injuries include:
- Concussions and other head injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Broken bones and fractures.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Facial disfigurement.
- Burns or electric shock.
- Harm from criminal attack.
What Damages Can Potentially Be Recovered for a Retail Property Injury?
Shoppers and other individuals who get hurt on a retail property may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. These kinds of cases can be complex and typically involve multiple parties. Financial awards depend on liability factors, the nature of the accident, and extent of the injuries. In tragic cases where an accident on a retail property leads to a death, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.
Compensation that may be recovered for injuries sustained on a retail property include:
- Hospital bills and medical expenses.
- Ongoing and future care costs.
- Physical and occupational therapy.
- Wheelchairs and other medical equipment.
- Necessary home alterations.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Transportation expenses.
- Costs of hiring home help.
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
- Current and future lost wages.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of life’s enjoyment.
If a retail property owner is willful or reckless in causing harm to a store patron, a court can require that punitive damages be paid to emphasize the degree of the gross negligence.
Galfand Berger LLP Can Help With Your Premises Liability Case
Galfand Berger LLP has successfully handled many complex premises liability cases for clients who were injured on all kinds of properties:
- $700,000 settlement for elevator injury. Our client suffered injuries to her knee, wrist, shoulders, and neck when she stepped and fell out of an elevator that continued to go up after the doors opened. Our legal team brought claims against the building owner and the maintenance company contracted to inspect and repair the elevator that had a history of mis-leveling. Despite knowing about the elevator’s unsafe condition, the building owner kept the elevator in service without providing any warnings to patrons. We resolved the matter on behalf of our client for $700,000.
- $565,000 settlement for premises liability accident. Our client was a truck driver employed to haul paper from the defendant’s premises. On the date of the incident, he was severely injured when the steps to the loading dock collapsed, causing a 4-foot fall to a cement floor. Our client struck his head, neck, and back as he fell before landing with his arm pinned beneath him. He was unable to work for three years following the accident and could never return to his job as a long-haul truck driver. Our legal team settled the matter immediately before trial on behalf of our client for $565,000.
Our Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP fight to hold negligent retail property owners accountable for the harm they cause innocent visitors and their families. Our goal is to give our clients the peace of mind knowing that their rights and best interests are protected.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Take Care of Clients Injured on Retail Properties
Our Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP value the relationships we build with our clients. If you have experienced a retail property injury, call our legal team at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.