Financial Compensation for Falling Merchandise Injuries
Were you injured by falling merchandise in a California retail store? Are you having difficulty with the pain and expensive medical bills? Were you forced to take off time from work due to the injuries?
You might be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit to recover financial compensation.
At big box stores like Costco, Sam's Club, Lowes, and Home Depot, the product stock needs to be readily available, so it makes sense for it to be kept onsite.
This stock is enormous, and warehouses are only so big that many of these stores start to stack it high up to the ceiling. And if it's outside, high up toward the sky.
Sometimes these stacks can reach fifteen feet, increasing the risk of it falling on their customers ten-fold. Unfortunately, there's usually no warning as to when something might fall.
In fact, Walmart has reported that it receives an average of 2,500 customer injury claims because of falling merchandise each year.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of falling merchandise, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation to understand your rights.
You should not have to pay out of pocket to seek treatment for these injuries and an attorney can help you.
You have the legal right to hold the store owner accountable for your injuries due to negligence.
The compensation you recover could help you cover medical costs, lost wages, and for the trauma you have suffered.
Risks of Stacking Merchandise So High
The merchandise at big box stores in California is stacked high and often in an unstable manner. Pair that with poorly trained employees, and that's a recipe for disaster.
Often, employees and customers will climb the shelves to reach the product, causing a flood-like effect of falling product.
And remember, it's not just toilet paper and paper towels being stacked that high. Many times, it's heavy bags of mulch, packages of water bottles, appliances, power tools, and boxes of canned soup.
If even one of these items fell from a shelf, never mind a pile of highly stacked merchandise, it would cause an injury.
Common causes falling merchandise
There is numerous reasons why store merchandise will fall and cause injuries to a customer, including:
- High-stacked products,
- Over-stacked merchandise,
- Uneven stacked merchandise,
- Poor merchandise shelving,
- Improper maintenance of shelving,
- Merchandise protruding from shelves.
Injuries from Falling Merchandise
Falling merchandise from store shelves can cause serious bodily injuries including the following:
- Head and skull injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Back injuries,
- Dental damage,
- Facial fractures,
- Shoulder or chest wounds,
- Degloving injury,
- Crushing injury,
- Amputation injury,
- Brain injury,
- Spinal cord compression,
- Wrongful death.
Clearly, if you have been injured due to falling merchandise, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Stores are Liable for Falling Merchandise Injuries
When you shop at a retail or warehouse store, you never expect to get injured and presume the premises are safe.
Under California law, property owners must follow certain rules to ensure the safety of their customers. In other words, store owners have a legal duty to make sure their customers won't be harmed due to a hazard on their property.
In fact, they are obligated to routinely to inspect and repair potential hazards.
When a store owner fails to keep you safe from harm, they might have breached their duty of care. This means you could be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
Factors that must be proven
In order for a premises liability lawsuit to be successful, there are several factors that must be proven:
- Store owner owned or had control of the premises;
- Owner was negligent in maintaining the premises;
- You sustained an injury due to owner's negligence;
In other words, it must be proven the negligence by the store owner was a primary factor causing your injury.
Store owners can be found negligent under the following circumstances:
- Failed to regularly examine the store, merchandise, and equipment;
- Failed to provide customers of potential hazards in the store;
- Failed to properly train and supervise their employees.
You will need to be able to determine the exact cause of your falling merchandise injury. Our lawyers can conduct an investigation to determine specific reasons and who can be held liable.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You?
In California, the store owner owes a duty to keep the customers they invite into their store safe from unreasonable risks of harm.
If you are injured while in their store, you are eligible for damages if you can prove the store was negligent.
As stated, California imposes specific requirements on store owners to ensure the premises do not pose a hazard to customers.
The stores must regularly check for potential hazards and fix or warn of risks they are aware of.
If the store owner breaches this duty – doesn't check for potential hazards at regular intervals or fails to warn or fix hazards they know of – you are entitled to compensation for any injuries you sustain because of those hazards.
The law of negligence governs most falling merchandise cases. To prove the store was negligent, you must be able to show:
- The store owed the customer a duty of care – the customer is an invitee who is shopping in the store;
- There was a breach of that duty – there was a known hazard that wasn't warned of or fixed, or they failed to check for hazards regularly;
- The breach of duty caused the merchandise to fall – you were hurt because of the failure to check or fix the hazard;
- The falling merchandise was the proximate cause of your injuries – you were hurt by the falling merchandise, or the falling merchandise set some event in action that caused your injury;
- The customer suffered legally recognized damages – medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of future earning capacity, property loss, loss of a normal life, and more.
In many cases, stores allege that the plaintiffs were injured because of their own negligence, commonly known as shared fault. If the court finds this to be true, they may reduce the award of damages by a certain percentage.
For instance, if the award would have been $50,000 if it were found to be entirely the store's fault, but in fact, they find you to 25% negligent, the award will be reduced to $37,500.
Available Damages for Falling Merchandise Victims
Clearly, falling merchandise from a high shelve could cause serious injuries, even if they are small objects.
If you are a victim due to negligence of a store owner, you have the right to seek financial compensation.
Our falling merchandise accident injury lawyers will pursue any damages you are entitled to receive, including:
- Medical and hospital expenses,
- Rehabilitation and therapy,
- Plastic surgery,
- Lost wages,
- Reduced earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress
Our attorneys need to first review all the specific details in order to determine what specific damages and compensation you might be eligible to receive.
Contact a Los Angeles Falling Merchandise Injury Attorney
Falling merchandise injury cases are much more prevalent than big box stores would like you to think.
If you are subject to an injury while shopping because of falling merchandise, call our offices today for a consultation.
At Injury Justice Law Firm, we have years of experience navigating personal injury cases in California.
We will work diligently to ensure your case receives the best possible outcome.
You shouldn't have to live with the consequences of an injury that the retail owner could have easily prevented.
We can help you understand all your legal options and eligibility for a financial recovery.
Call our law firm for a free consultation at (818) 781-1570, or contact our office online.