Shopping is an important part of our everyday lives. Whether you’re picking up groceries, shopping for home goods, or just checking out the mall, we all do a little shopping from time to time. Heck, some of us even enjoy it, but when a shopping trip ends at the emergency room, it’s a different story.
No matter where you’re shopping—at a local mom and pop grocery store or at a high-end department store—the business owner owes its customers a reasonably safe shopping environment. If a business fails to maintain a shopping environment that’s safe enough for you to shop in without being injured, that business may be held liable under premises liability law for any injuries you sustain.
If a run-of-the-mill shopping trip ends with a trip to the ER, you need experienced legal counsel. While every premises liability case is unique to its own set of circumstances, heading out for some casual shopping shouldn’t land you in the hospital. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia has the experience, skill, and knowledge to help guide your claim toward the compensation to which you’re entitled. Your claim is important, and our determined premises liability attorneys are here to help.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are common to shopping trip accidents, and though “slip and fall” has a whimsical ring to it, these accidents can be extremely serious and frequently land victims in the emergency room. Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere, but there are several common causes:
- Parking lots that become slippery with accumulated ice, snow, rain, debris, and leaves
- Parking lots with broken, uneven, or irregular walking surfaces
- Entryways that are cluttered, littered with debris, or made slippery by weather conditions that are tracked in
- Stores that have torn, worn, frayed, bunched, or broken flooring
- Stores with highly polished and slippery flooring
- Stores with displays that are precariously placed or erected
- Stores with inadequate lighting
Any of these can lead to serious injuries that necessitate emergency care.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
In fact, injuries associated with slip and fall accidents are so serious that the Mayo Clinic reports slip and falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Because TBIs affect the brain, they are extremely unpredictable and typically necessitate a protracted recovery process that carries significant physical, financial, and emotional damages. Many victims of TBIs describe them as altering their very sense of self, which makes TBIs one of the most difficult injuries to heal from.
Other Common Injuries
Broken bones and spinal cord injuries are also common to slip and fall accidents, and they’re both extremely serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. A broken bone is an exceedingly painful injury that’s slow to heal and can lead to serious complications, including permanent disability. Spinal cord injuries are caused by damage anywhere on the spinal cord, and they are not only extremely painful but can also cause significant debilitation. The brain and spinal cord, together, comprise the central nervous system, which controls the body’s physical sensations and coordinated movements. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, and any such injury comes with serious physical, financial, and emotional consequences.
Other Premises Liability Accidents
In addition to slip and fall accidents, there are a variety of security-related issues and physical accidents that are closely associated with premises liability claims. Security issues include the store’s failure to provide adequate security or failure to adhere to accepted security practices. While no two premises liability claims are exactly alike, there are several distinct kinds of accidents, in addition, to slip and falls that commonly lead to such cases:
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Falling merchandise accidents
- Scaffolding or ladder accidents
- Accidents caused by architectural or structural design flaws
The Store’s Liability
In Pennsylvania, a store may be held liable for injuries you incur on the premises through either strict liability or negligence. Strict liability refers to circumstances that are inherently or abnormally dangerous in the first place. The more likely scenario, however, is liability through negligence, which means your claim must incorporate several elements:
- The property owner had a duty of care to you—a store owner owes you a reasonably safe shopping environment to conduct your business in.
- The property owner knew about or reasonably should have known about the dangerous condition on the property that caused you to be injured.
- The property owner failed to fix the dangerous situation that he or she knew about and that caused you to be injured.
- The property owner’s breach of duty directly caused you to be injured.
Pennsylvania incorporates a comparative negligence model, which determines who is to blame in premises liability claims. In a nutshell, this means that you, as the injured party, can’t be found to share more blame than the store does. Further, if you are found to share a portion of the blame for your injuries, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of blame you’re determined to be responsible for. In other words, it’s complicated, and if you’ve been injured while shopping in Philadelphia, you need an experienced premises liability attorney. Your rights and your rightful compensation are far too important to leave to chance or to the vagaries of the insurance company.
If a Shopping Trip Leaves You Injured, Consult With an Experienced Philadelphia Premise Liability Lawyer Today
Shopping is something we all do fairly regularly, and it isn’t something that we spend much time worrying about. Nevertheless, unsafe shopping conditions leave people in need of emergency medical care every day. If you’ve been injured while shopping, you might be facing a long recovery. Remember that you aren’t alone. The skilled legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is here to help. Our experienced premises liability attorneys have the experience, commitment, and knowledge to tirelessly advocate for your just compensation. For more information, please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.