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When a shopping trip ends in an injury

From Kleenex to the kitchen sink, when it comes to retail stores and finding what you need, residents in and around the Newport area have a variety of options. Whether you choose to purchase goods from a big-box retailer or an independent mom-and-pop shop, all store owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that a premise is safe and free of known hazards—both inside and outside.

While most of us likely wouldn't consider a day out shopping to be hazardous to our physical health, retail stores and the properties upon which they stand are often full of potential safety risks. From a pothole-filled parking lot to a store aisle lined with precariously stacked merchandise, store owners who fail to regularly inspect and maintain a store's premise may be held liable for any injuries that occur in a store or on a store's property.

Under premise liability laws, an individual who suffers injuries while at a store or on a store's property may take legal action. However, in order to do so, there are certain requirements that must be proven including;

  • The store owner had knowledge of, or should have known about, the dangerous condition
  • A store owner failed to regularly inspect and maintain a premise
  • The dangerous condition was the direct cause of an individual's injuries

An individual who suffers injuries at a retail store would be wise to obtain a medical exam, diagnosis and any related treatments as soon as possible. Additionally, when possible, it's wise to take photographs of the site where the injury occurred as well as request to review footage from the store's surveillance camera. If any other shoppers witnessed the accident, it's wise to collect their personal information and to ask for an account of what they saw.

Premise liability cases can be difficult to win. It's important, therefore, to enlist the assistance of an attorney who handles personal injury matters and who has helped individuals in similar circumstances recover just compensation for their injuries.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Shopping Injuries Overview," Feb. 2, 2016

FindLaw.com, "7 Tips When Suing a Retail Store for Injuries," Aditi Mukherji, Nov. 14, 2013

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