Store owners, managers, and employees owe you a duty of care. This means that you should be able to patronize a business without fear of being hurt and the burden of ensuring your safety is on the business. Read on to find out more about the duties you are owed by a business.
It's Not Your Fault
No one walks into a store to do some shopping and expects to get injured. When you trip and fall or are hurt by falling merchandise, it is almost inevitable that your initial reaction is one of embarrassment. That feeling is not only natural, but is also a form of damage. When you feel humiliated because of the negligence or carelessness of a store, that is known as mental trauma, and you can be paid for that and several other ways you are damaged. Never allow your embarrassment or shame to prevent you from taking action. Your efforts to point out the problem and to take action about it might prevent others from affected and harmed.
Duty of Care
As a store goes about its job of presenting items for customers to purchase, they have other duties. They owe customers a safe shopping environment. While municipal, state, and federal laws must be followed when it comes to ensuring the safety of customers, the store itself has a responsibility to ensure safety. For example, there may not be any laws about how high you can stack a display of canned corn, but that doesn't mean that stores don't owe customers a safe shopping experience by using common sense and identifying potential hazards and taking action to protect patron.
Duty to Warn
In addition to the duty of care, stores must also take action to warn customers about hazards. Here are a few examples of warnings that might help prevent accidents:
- Warning signs and orange cones near wet areas.
- Tape to prevent customers from entering unsafe work areas in a store.
- Cameras and good lighting in parking areas as a deterrent to crime.
- Cleaning up spills as soon as possible.
You might be wondering where the customer's responsibility comes into play. While the store does bear the greater burden of responsibility, each person should do their best to avoid hazards while shopping. When seeking legal action against the store, the store may attempt to reduce their liability for the accident by pointing out that the customer failed to use due care.
If you have been hurt in a retail store, seek medical treatment immediately and talk to a personal injury attorney to find out what your best course of action might be.