Injuries From Falling Merchandise
You may not think about it, but falling merchandise is a danger when shopping. Thousands of shoppers have been hurt by items falling off shelves and hitting them. Injuries from falling merchandise may include injuries to the back, neck, shoulders, and knees. Head trauma, broken bones, neurological damage, and paralysis have also occurred.
Some people have even been killed by store merchandise. If you were lucky enough to survive your accident, be sure to take the next step and contact an experienced attorney, who can help you recover compensation for any damages. Contact the Chicago premises liability lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to see how they can fight for your rights at (312) 236-2900.
Falling Merchandise: How it Happens
Items falling off shelves may not seem like everyday occurrences, but it happens hundreds of time a week in large retailers. How exactly does it happen? When there is an extra quantity of certain items, employees tend to stack the excess on the shelves above. Ideally, heavier items should be secured to the shelves, but employees rarely do this. If these items are stacked poorly or stacked too high, they can topple over and hit an unsuspecting customer.
Sometimes the cause of falling merchandise may be defective racks or pallets. A lack of shrink wrap can cause items to become loose and fall. Inadequate employee training may also be to blame. Employees may be unaware of proper stacking methods or stack items while customers are present, thus causing unsafe conditions.
In most cases, the merchandise falls from 20 feet or more and weighs at least 50 pounds. The items include ladders, pallets, buckets of paint, table saws, boxes, lumber, and bathtubs.
Elements of a Falling Merchandise Injury Case
Falling merchandise is a form of negligence, and as such, the elements are similar:
- The store owner owed a duty to the customer.
- The store owner breached the duty.
- This breach of duty caused an accident.
- The accident caused injuries to the customer.
All four of these elements must occur in order for you to file a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. If an item fell off a shelf and hit you, but did not cause any injuries, you do not have a valid claim. You must have suffered damages as a result of the breach of duty.
Falling merchandise is categorized under premises liability law. Stores have a duty to keep customers safe, and this includes prevention of falling merchandise. However, there are no merchandise stacking laws in place to protect customers.
In some cases, however, you may be partly to blame for a falling merchandise accident. If you grabbed at an item and then accidentally dropped it causing it to fall on you, you could be partially at fault, since the merchandise did not randomly fall on you. Your actions would have caused it to fall, and the store cannot fully take the blame for your actions.
Compensation Options for Victims
As a victim of falling merchandise, there are several ways in which you can get compensated for your damages. You can receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. If you became disabled as a result of the accident, you could receive compensation for home care, medical supplies, and other related expenses.
You could also receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is often determined by multiplying your medical expenses by a certain number based on the severity of your injuries. A lifelong brain injury, for example, would be worth more than a broken bone, which would heal over time.
Your Next Steps
If you were injured by falling items while you were in a store or business, you may be able to hold the company liable for your injuries and recover compensation for damages you suffered.
We realize that no two cases are alike. Each has different circumstances, making them difficult to evaluate and estimate how much compensation you can expect to receive. Take legal action by contacting the Chicago premises liability lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. We can evaluate your case and determine your rights to compensation.
Get started today by calling (312) 236-2900.