Did a Falling Object Hurt You While You Were Shopping at a Store? Know Your RightsDecember 31, 2014 | Category: Slip and Fall Accidents | Share
Most of us have been in a store and noticed a slippery substance on the floor or fallen goods in the middle of the aisle. When those things are easily observed, we have the ability to steer clear of the problem area to avoid being hurt. But what happens if you are shopping and you suddenly get hit in the head by an object that fell off the top shelf of the aisle? Do you have any rights against the store owner? Personal injury attorney Randall Spivey had handled similar cases in the Ft. Myers area and throughout Florida and he is prepared to work hard to ensure that you are informed of all your legal options.
Look Both Ways…and Up Too
Most people do not visit a store thinking they will get hit by a falling object during their visit, although the risk of that happening is very real, especially in large warehouse stores, like Sam's Club, Costco or BJ's where items are typically stacked several feet in the air. Goods may be stacked upon themselves or on crates or slabs.
With that type of arrangement, no wonder shoppers are at risk of getting hurt by falling objects. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is not only shoppers who are at risk of injury. Retail workers experience a high rate of non-fatal injuries while at work. The bottom line is: When you make that quick run to the grocery store or warehouse center, keep a watchful eye on your surroundings — and remember to look up on occasion too.
Who Can Be Held Liable if You Are Hit by a Falling Object?
If you sustain a personal injury while visiting an area retail store, you are encouraged to seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable attorney who can explain your rights and options under the law. There are a number of legal theories that may be available to victims, depending on the nature of the incident.
For instance, based on the facts of the case, your lawyer may decide to file suit on your behalf based on a premises liability theory. A possible argument under that theory could be to claim that the store owner was aware (or should have been aware) of the dangerous conditions that existed on store property and caused your injuries.
Another theory might include a negligent supervision and/or training argument. All too often, workers are in a hurry or under a time constraint that leads them to be careless when stocking shelves and stacking pallets. Some employees unsafely stack crates and boxes, but they do so because they were not properly trained by the employer and/or store owner on how to properly stack goods. The failure of the employer to adequately train and/or supervise its employees can lead to liability for the employer.
Similarly, a lawyer might seek to hold an owner liable under a theory of vicarious liability, particularly in cases where it may be clear that the object fell solely because of an employee's negligence, but he or she was acting in the scope of his or her employment at the time.
The legal options are numerous, but one thing is certain — if you were hurt in a store due to someone else's negligence, you are entitled to seek just compensation for the injuries sustained. Contact the Spivey Law Firm today to discuss your case with a well-versed personal injury attorney.