During the holiday season, consumers like to hit the malls to find the perfect gifts for loved ones. Unfortunately, holiday shopping can be stressful on the body. While there are some risks from lifting heavy items and carrying stacked shopping bags, the biggest dangers occur when stores and shopping malls don’t have effective safety plans and protocols in place.
Stores and malls can be held accountable in situations where there is an injury caused by negligence. Consumers need to know their rights and must be aware of the risks associated with holiday shopping so they can stay safe throughout the season.
Tips for Staying Safe During Holiday Shopping
Black Friday is always the most dangerous day of the year, with millions of shoppers competing over a limited number of products offered at deep discounts. However, now that Black Friday is over, there are still going to be crowds and there are still potential threats to safety at malls and stores.
Shoppers need to be aware of the risks and must understand their rights if they are harmed. A personal injury lawyer in Boston can provide advice when an injury happens, but motorists who are aware of the dangers may be able to prevent accidents entirely.
Crowds remain a concern, especially on Christmas Eve when everyone is scrambling to do last minute shopping. With crowds comes the threat of stampedes and of being trampled, but also the threat of robbery or violence. Money Crashers advises motorists shopping on crowded holiday shopping days to put their purchases into their cars in between visiting multiple stores, and to plan a designated meet-up time with friends and families. Shoppers should also carry a small bag with a wallet in it, and should make sure their cell phones are on, accessible, and fully charged – as well as programmed with the phone numbers of anyone you plan to shop with.
Conditions in stores are also a problem for shoppers, as stores may be overwhelmed with crowds and excess merchandise and may not be able to keep up a safe environment. It is the obligation of stores to avoid overloading shelves and to keep aisles and walkways free of debris. When stores get busy, they could fail to notice items piling up in shelves or on the aisle. This could cause shoppers to suffer injuries when something falls onto them as they walk through the store or if they trip over debris that has been left in walkways.
As many holiday shoppers are out during the winter months, the weather is also a potential threat to safety. Motorists traveling to do holiday shopping during rain or snow could find themselves at an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, especially if they are in a rush and not traveling slowly enough. Bad weather could also mean there is a danger of a slip and fall in a parking lot, or a risk of falling in a store where the floor is wet because people have tracked in water and debris.
Shoppers should be cautious, look around for potential safety threats, avoid obstacles, and leave themselves plenty of time so they do not have to rush through the shopping experience. Ultimately, however, stores need to ensure that they have done everything they can to avoid injuries among patrons. If a shopping facility fails to follow reasonable precautions, they can be held accountable for resulting losses.
If you are injured in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
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