In Wisconsin, a women is suing a large box department store for compensation for injuries incurred after a 50-pound appliance fell on her shoulder while she was reaching for an item. She claims there were no signs on the shelves warning her about the hazards of retrieving an item from a shelf beyond her reach. In another case, a shopping cart tips over with a child inside and the family sues the store for malfunction of the cart. In other common instances, someone is hit in the parking lot while a car backs out of a parking space. Do you take shopping at your favorite department or grocery store for granted?
If you have been injured while shopping, you’ve learned that several factors have come into play when determining the cause, fault, probability of compensation and witnesses of your accident. Many stores will issue warnings about the hazards of not reaching for items on the top-most shelf, not moving the ladders that are meant to retrieve those items, and cautioning customers to stay away from wet floors. But when there are no signs, does that mean you should throw caution to the wind and take the chance at walking in an area that’s wet, reaching for that top-shelf item, or operating the movable ladder yourself?
Here are some common occurrences in grocery and department stores for which to be aware the next time you are shopping the aisles and filling your cart:
- If your children are small enough to require cart travel, be sure that they remain seated at all times and that they are strapped in appropriately. Kids tumble out of shopping carts daily and end up with serious head injuries as a result.
- As silly as it may seem, keeping a safe distance from the cart before you and behind you might prevent that Achilles heel injury if someone hits your heel, or if you run into someone. This type of injury is painful, and blame comes in all forms.
- Never climb on shelves if you need a product. You don’t know how secure those shelves are. Never have a child climb for you. Always ask for assistance if an item is out of your reach, even if just at the tip of your fingers.
- Watch for moving vehicles coming from all directions in parking lots. Parking spaces in these areas are tight and visibility is often low. Watch for the cars as much as they are watching for you.
- Keep hold of little children when in the store and when in the parking lot. They can slip out of reach in an instant.
- Never run with a child in a shopping cart. Shopping cart injuries are common and generally caused by carelessness and tipovers.
If you have had your shopping excursion tampered by an injury, you’ll want to have someone assist you who is renowned for dealing with these types of entities. Shopping is a necessity for many, and a recreational activity for some. Don’t be sidelined in the process.