When we go out to eat or shop or play, we don’t expect to pay with a personal injury. But in fact that happens more often than we might care to consider.
There are many ways that people get hurt when they are out and about. If you happen to get hurt on the premises of a business, you can sue for your injury and will succeed if you can show negligence. Let’s take a look at some common claims that arise out of our engagements with the business community.
Restaurants and all other businesses owe their customers a duty of care. They breach that duty when they cause harm to customers. The harm must be the direct result of negligence, not an unforeseeable fluke, but if you can prove that you were injured due to the failure to maintain the standards of a reasonable business, you can recover for your injury.
You love going out to eat on the weekends and consider it a small vacation from your routine. But when your dream meal turns into a nightmare, you’re extremely displeased by the disruption. Food poisoning is one reason that businesses get sued, although recovery for injury is only likely if you experience more than just some unpleasantness.
Restaurants also get sued for negligence if a meal causes injury based on poor preparation. Choked on a fishbone and somehow end up in throat surgery? You are a prime plaintiff in a personal injury suit. As in any other negligence case, you will have to prove that the restaurant breached its duty of care to you, thereby causing you harm.
There are many ways to get hurt when shopping. People slip, trip, and fall in stores. If a store’s displays are not safe or its aisles not clear for passage, or there are spills on the floor that go ignored, and someone get hurt, the business can be found liable. Business owners have a duty to maintain the safety of their premises, both indoors and outdoors, and failure to do so often results in personal injury suits.
If you are hurt at the gym or during a sporting activity, you may also be able to sue. The issue will be whether you assumed certain risks — for example, if you signed a release before skydiving — and, as ever, whether there was any negligence.
When you drop a set of barbells on your foot and break all your toes, that is probably not due to the gym’s negligence. But if a set of weights somehow falls on you from a great height, or a machine malfunctions, or you slip on wet floors, your negligence case may indeed succeed.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured, speak to a local lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.
– See more at: http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2016/04/eat-shop-play-suing-a-business-for-personal-injury.html#sthash.2FEaq1ez.dpuf
Shopping-related injuries — such as slip and falls and back and neck injuries — account for thousands of personal injury claims each year in the U.S. Aside from consumer overspending, most people do not think of being in any particular danger when shopping for items such as clothing, toys, electronics, and household goods. Shopping injuries, however, are more common than one would think and sometimes involve a store owner’s failure to keep their premises safe, or warn of known hazards that may injure shoppers, workers and visitors.
Types of Shopping Injuries
"Shopping injuries" is a broad term used to describe personal injuries that occur while visiting a store, shopping mall, or other retail establishment. While many shopping-related injuries are minor, more serious injuries may include broken bones, sprains, head trauma, neck injury, spinal injury, and even death. Moreover, the rate of shopping injuries tends to increase during heavy shopping seasons, such as during the Christmas season, "Black Friday", and other holidays.
Types of shopping-related accidents that may occur on a store’s property include:
Slip and Falls – as a result of wet floors, torn carpets, poorly lit lighting, and escalator malfunctions
Head and body injuries – from falling objects, retail displays, out-of-reach objects, or other mishaps
Shopping cart injuries – falls as a result of a cart tipping over
Overcrowding injuries – as a result of over-crowding hazards, i.e. trampling
Parking lot injuries – as a result of a cracked or improperly designed parking lot, or failure to remove ice or snow
Shopping-Related Personal Injury Claims
Individuals who are injured on commercial property, such as stores or shopping malls, may generally file personal injury claims under a state’s negligence laws. Under premises liability laws, store owners must exercise reasonable care to see that a store’s premises are reasonably safe from hidden dangers or hazardous conditions they have reason to believe may cause injury. For example, stores must clean up spills quickly, remove fallen objects, fix broken stairs or railings, replace dimmed light bulbs, and provide adequate security for customers.
To prove a store was legally responsible for a shoppers injuries, he or she must establish 1) the store owner knew (or should have known) about a dangerous condition on their property, 2) the store owner did not regularly inspect the store for dangers, or provided inadequate maintenance, 3) that the shopper would not have been injured if there was not a dangerous condition on the property, 4) there was a relation between the dangerous condition and the shopper’s injury, and 5) that the shopper suffered actual "damages" as a result of it.
Store Owner’s Defense to a Property Owners Claim
Store owners who face a personal injury claim may raise the following defenses:
No dangerous condition existed on the premises
The store owner had no prior knowledge
The store owner took reasonable steps to correct any dangerous condition
The condition was so obvious as to avoid
The danger did not cause the customer’s injuries
The injury occurred in a place where customers are not allowed
The customer was negligent and assumed his or her own risk.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at a Store
If you have been injured while shopping on a store’s premises, you should discuss your potential case with an experienced personal injury attorney. A good personal injury lawyer can help determine whether a store was at fault which may potentially help you recover monetary damages for the injuries you have incurred. To learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, you can contact an experienced lawyer for a free claim evaluation.