Headed out to shop on Black Friday? Be careful.
You probably don’t consider this shopping “holiday” especially dangerous. However, with about 90 million Americans ravenous for deals on Black Friday – causing heavy crowds and extra traffic – numerous Florida shoppers to suffer injuries every single year.
In this post, we’ll cover the most common injuries that happen on Black Friday, how you can protect yourself, and what you can do to get help if you or a loved one is hurt.
Common Types of Shopping Injuries
Shopping injuries can result whether you are in a major retail store, small retail business, or shopping mall. Injuries can be minor, or they can require extensive medical treatment. It’s wise to know the top risks before you head out to shop this year.
Reports of shopping injuries are most common between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they tend to peak on Black Friday. These are the most common types of Black Friday injuries that can be attributed to a others’ negligence.
A negligent driver could cause damage to you or your vehicle, even at a low speed in a parking lot.
Parking Lot Injuries
Potholes and pavement cracks can lead to vehicle accidents or pedestrian injuries.
Shopping Cart Injuries
A malfunctioning or broken shopping cart can cause injury to you.
These injuries can result from low lighting, wet areas, spills, broken tiles, torn carpet, malfunctioning escalators, and more.
Injuries Due to Overcrowding
If a store does not take steps to prevent trampling, you could be injured or killed due to overcrowding.
Fallen Object Injuries
If an object falls from a table, shelf, end cap, or display and injures you, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the retailer.
Injuries in these scenarios can be minor, such as scrapes, strained muscles, or cuts. However, some injuries can be serious or life-threatening, including concussions, broken bones, and puncture wounds. Some injuries, such as soft-tissue injuries or back injuries, could require months of physical therapy and/or surgery.
How Floridians Can Stay Safe This Black Friday
With all those potential risks, you might wonder why anyone would go out on Black Friday at all – and, truth be told, that’s the best way to really stay safe. However, if you just can’t pass up the great deals, there are still ways to do so safely.
Point and click. Okay, so this one’s a bit of a cheat, but it’s still valid. Most retailers this day offer online as well as in-store deals, and places like Amazon have both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. You might miss some of the best Doorbuster sales, but shopping online is much safer.
Make a plan of action. Much of the danger of Black Friday comes in the rushing around. You won’t be able to avoid all of it, but you can minimize some carnage by creating a clear plan of where you want to go and what you want to get.
Related, you may want to pack food and supplies and camp out at the store the night before. This can ensure that you are energized from eating – and that you won’t get into an accident struggling to find parking in the rush.
Wear layers. This may seem silly, but you’ll thank yourself if it’s cold – and if you do fall, the extra padding should help.
Remember the big picture. Black Friday comes with some amazing deals where you can save big. However, getting $500 off on a TV will just be a drop in the proverbial bucket if you end up in the emergency room. In other words, it’s not worth entering a seemingly risky situation to save a few bucks.
That said, if another is at fault for your injury, you should not have to pay your medical bills on your own. Get in touch with a Florida injury attorney who can help you get compensation for those expenses as well as lost income and pain and suffering.
How exactly does this work?
Filing a Black Friday Injury Lawsuit in Florida
If you are injured on Black Friday and someone else is at fault, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Know that under PIP, the first $10,000 in expenses is covered by your own insurance policy. However, you may have the right to sue for any expenses over that amount. A knowledgeable Florida injury lawyer can help you navigate the process.
Most Black Friday lawsuits, however, are likely to be about premises liability. To win your case against a negligent retailer in a premises liability lawsuit, your attorney will need to prove the following elements:
- Duty: The retailer had a duty to provide a reasonably safe shopping experience for you.
- Breach of Duty: The retailer breached the duty of care by failing to warn you of a potential hazard or fix the problem in a reasonable amount of time.
- Causation: You experienced injury due to the retailer’s breach of duty.
- Damages: You incurred financial costs due to your injury, which should be the responsibility of the negligent retailer.
These types of lawsuits can get complicated in a hurry. Retailers typically fight back by saying they did not know about the hazard.
You need the help of an experienced lawyer to get the best possible results from your claim. Your attorney can look at the details of your case and battle back against the retailer’s resistance.
Hopefully it won’t come to that, though. By knowing what the most common injuries are and taking steps to prevent them, you can greatly reduce your risk and help increase the likelihood that this holiday season will be one you remember for all the right reasons instead.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.