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Is the store owner liable for my shopping injury?

Whether they’re dashing into the deli for some corned beef or breezing into the neighborhood bodega for a cold beer, most New Yorkers aren’t thinking that they might wind up leaving on an ambulance-bound stretcher.

Yet shopping-related injuries form the basis of thousands of claims of personal injury annually in America. Depending on the circumstances, the owner of the business may be liable for a shopper’s injuries that occur on one’s premises.

Shopping injuries can be a simple slip-and-fall resulting from a spill on the floor that didn’t get wiped up and causes a customer or vendor to take a tumble. But there are many other shopping-related mishaps that can befall unwary consumers.

Shoppers can suffer head and upper body injuries when retailers stack goods too high on shelves or pallets and they come crashing down on their customers. Stacking items too high can also cause shoppers to be unable to properly reach them; their efforts can cause the products to tumble down upon them and cause injuries.

Sometimes a shopper is injured from tripping over a tear in the carpet or unmarked uneven flooring. Lighting that is too dim in hallways, stairs or other store areas can result in a customer falling and suffering serious injuries.

Seen mostly at high volume shopping times like Black Friday, overcrowded shopping conditions with inadequate security present for crowd control can cause deaths or injuries from trampling.

Shopping injuries don’t just occur inside stores — parking lots also present hazards to customers if the pavement is cracked or accumulations of ice and snow aren’t removed in a timely manner.

If you have suffered an injury on the premises of a retail store or shopping mall, you may wish to pursue a civil claim for your injuries.

Source: FindLaw, “Shopping Injuries Overview” accessed Mar. 19, 2015

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