Black Friday Injuries Happen More Often Than You Think
Black Friday is heralded as the best day of the year for retailers. Big discounts, big TV’s and mass hysteria for finding the best deal are often the case when it comes to the day after Thanksgiving. But amidst all the excitement is a very real danger for some shoppers in their eagerness to save money.
In the US at least four people were injured in store parking lots back in 2016. Including a man who tried intervening in a fight in front of a store who was shot and killed, and another man who was shot and killed over a parking spot. Black Friday traumas are so common, there is even a website called the Black Friday Death Count. It's sole purpose is tracking and reporting Black Friday related injuries.
Emergency rooms and ambulance services across the country have to increase their staff and supplies to manage the surge of new patients stemming from Black Friday injuries. Read more about the most common types of traumas below.
Common Black Friday Personal Injury Cases
1. Shopping Stampede
Waves of shoppers rushing through the opening doors of stores like Walmart or Best Buy never fail to make headlines on Black Friday. Getting caught between a crowd and the limited time discounts on the shelves has resulted in people being trampled, sustaining injuries, and even death.
As hundreds of shoppers make their way through packed lines this weekend be wary of rushing to your next sale. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises retailers to hire additional staff and security to help with crowd management, including barricades and emergency protocols in case of accident or medical emergency. Even still, you can protect yourself and your family by being alert to the risks.
2. Falling Boxes
Items placed high up on shelves can fall and seriously injure shoppers underneath them. With so many stores stocking electronics, hardware, and toys as high as they can reasonably go, it’s only a matter of time until one falls after an eager customer starts pulling out items wherever they can.
Falling Black Friday boxes can result in serious injury, whether it be a concussion, or damaged neck vertebrae. There’s also the risk of overloaded shopping carts, and if you find yourself next to a tipping cart, you may end up with smashed fingers or toes.
3. Parking Lot Car Accidents
Shoppers rushing in and out of stores are more likely to drive aggressively, focusing on getting a parking spot rather than the people walking around them. This means you can end up sustaining an injury before you even walk through the front door.
If a parking lot collision results in damage to either you or your vehicle, you not only have a case against the other driver, but also the parking lot owner. Car vs Car collisions in parking lots are treated like accidents in the open road. The lot owners have a duty to maintain their property to ensure it is in good condition and clear of danger.
4. Slip & Fall
The legal principle of premises liability means that the owners of property have an obligation to maintain their property. They are then responsible for any and all accidents and injuries that might occur whilst shoppers are on their property.
If the management knew or should have known that the floor would be slippery (regardless of cold/wet weather, or if that is just the usual condition of the floor) it is their fault. The property owner is then held responsible for medical expenses, lost work time, and perhaps more if you slip and fall in the store.
Not all Black Friday injuries are accidental. In a rush to grab the best deals, tensions are flying high and people can get angry. From black eyes to brain injuries, considering how some people might react to you taking the last of a certain item, you may just want to do your shopping online this year instead.
Whether on your own or with the help of a Personal Injury Lawyer, you will have to figure out exactly who injured you (a task made more difficult with the hundreds of strangers surrounding you in-store), Assaults and thefts can take place in both the parking lot and inside the store, with security having the duty to break them up if they see them. Even still, you may not be able to fight off an angry crowd, and could end up in need of medical services.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured While Black Friday Shopping
A personal injury attorney can investigate your accident and give you a professional opinion about your options. If you can prove that the property owner broke OSHA’s guidelines for crowd safety, or that they negligently failed to prepare or repair for a known hazard, you can file a claim. Both of these can result in compensation for your medical bills, physical injuries, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages or even disability due to injury.
Black Friday can be good for your wallet, but bad for the rest of you. Don’t let deep discounts come at the expense of serious injury to you or your family. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury whilst out Black Friday shopping, contact Younessi Law, or give us a call at (322)777-7777.