Slip and Fall Risks: Holiday Shopping and Black Friday Sales

The holiday shopping season is almost in full swing. Many retailers across the nation and in Georgia will open at midnight this Thanksgiving, pushing black Friday sales even earlier. Crowds of people often descend on retailers to take advantage of the early door buster sales. During this busy time shoppers should be aware of the potential for slip-and-fall accidents that can occur when hazardous conditions are not remedied quickly by store owners or employees.

For example, a common slip and fall injury might occur when a slippery substance is left in an aisle. A fall could cause minor injury or may cause a more serious back, neck or ankle injury. Although retailers are busy during the hustle of the holiday shopping season, they still have a duty to inspect and maintain their stores in a safe condition and to warn shoppers of any known dangers.

Other dangerous conditions such as ripped or torn carpeting, changes in flooring, scattered merchandise racks, or broken and hanging signs may cause a fall and injury. Thus risks are not merely on the ground, but can also be overhead.

How Is Fault Proved in a Slip and Fall Case?

When a slip and fall that results in personal injury occurs on a retailer's property, it must be shown that a "dangerous condition" caused the accident and the retailer knew the dangerous condition existed. That dangerous condition must be something that poses an unreasonable risk that a person would not have expected. Obvious dangers can generally be avoided.

Also, the injury must be a foreseeable result of the dangerous condition. When a wet floor is not mopped up and no warning is provided, it is foreseeable that a shopper might slip and fall. If a torn piece of carpet is not repaired or merchandise racks block aisles, again it is foreseeable that a shopper might trip and fall.

To recover money damages for a slip and fall injury, the retailer must have been negligent in failing to maintain its property in a safe condition. For accidents that occur because a shopper is careless, the retailer is not generally at fault.

After a slip and fall accident, first get immediate medical care for any injuries. Then contact an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, who will protect your rights and work to put you back into the position you were before the accident occurred.