New Hampshire Retail Store Injuries
When a person enters a business or a store, they expect to be reasonably safe. This means that store owners and employees have an obligation to make sure that the premises are safe. When a customer injures themselves on a hazard in a store, the store may be held responsible for the injuries if the accident could have been avoided. When a hazard is present in a store and employees should have been aware of it, a person injured by it can request to be compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. If you or a loved one have been hurt in the store, contact Russman Law right away.
An injury at a store or ‘shopping injury' can occur at any time, though injurers are more common during heavy shopping seasons such as Black Friday or the week before Christmas. Common shopping injuries include the following:
- Slip and falls
- Head or back injuries
- Broken bones
Any obstacle that employees should have been aware that it could cause injury to their customers can be the subject of a personal injury accident. Some common examples include:
- Merchandise left in aisles
- Wet floors that are not marked with hazard signs
- Uneven flooring or torn carpeting
- Snow or ice in the entryway or parking lot
- Falling objects from the high shelves
- Poor lighting in stairwells and other spaces
- Escalator or elevator malfunctions
New Hampshire Premises Liability Law
Premises liability is the area of personal injury law that applies to property owners' responsibility to their visitors to keep them safe. Under this area of law a property owner can be held responsible for injuries that occur on their premises. This includes retail establishments.
Shoppers who enter a store expect to be reasonably safe. This means that they should not be expected to be on the lookout for unmarked slippery floors or merchandise falling from high shelves. A customer who is injured by any of those things can seek compensation from the store owner. Even if the victim is at fault a small percentage, New Hampshire law dictates that they are entitled to be compensated the same percentage of their injuries as was the fault of the property owner. This means that, even if an accident is not 100% the store's fault, as long as they are at least 50% at fault for a person's injuries, that person can receive some compensation.
Store Injuries in New Hampshire
In order for a victim to claim compensation for their store injury, their attorney must prove that the store is, in fact, to blame for the hazard that caused the injury. It has been shown that one of three situations must be generally true for a victim to claim their injury was the fault of the retail establishment:
The hazard was caused by the owner or store employee. This often occurs when an employee mops the floor and fails to put up signage warning customers that it is a slipping hazard. The fact that someone associated with the store caused the hazard shows that negligence was involved because the person responsible for the dangerous situation neglected to think of the safety of customers.
The property owner or store employee should have been aware of the hazard or dangerous condition because a reasonable person would have recognized such a condition is being dangerous to shoppers. For example, many grocery stores employ someone specifically to make sure that produce does not fall on the floor. When produce rolls on the floor, it can be stepped on and can make the floor very slippery which is a serious hazard. It is reasonable to assume that produce on the floor could be a hazard.
The owner or employee had prior knowledge of the hazard but failed to fix it. This one can be a bit difficult to prove, but if another customer alerted an employee to the hazard or an employee was in close proximity, anyone who is injured by it can argue that the store was aware of the problem but did not fix it. This, again, shows that the store was negligent in taking concern for their customers.
New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a retail establishment, it is important to understand your rights. You may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from missed work, emotional distress and more. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is limited to 3 years after an accident. Make sure you call Russman Law right away to fight for the compensation you deserve.