With the holidays fast approaching, local stores are keeping busy stocking merchandise to meet the demands of gift-givers and those hosting holiday feasts. Beginning with day-after-Thanksgiving sales and extending throughout the season, plan on encountering plenty of crowds when visiting local merchants. Unfortunately, crowded store conditions and the overall frantic pace of the holidays can increase your risks for serious personal injuries. It is important to be aware of the dangers and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
Slips, Falls, and Other Dangers Holiday Shoppers Face
Beginning immediately after most people finish eating Thanksgiving dinner, long lines begin forming to take advantage of holiday sales. Known as ‘Black Friday’, the day after Thanksgiving is typically one of the most crowded days of the year in stores and kicks off the holiday shopping season. It is also one of the most dangerous days due to an increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Each year, there are numerous news reports of crowds stampeding into stores, knocking others down to get the best sales. There is even a website entitled BlackFridayDeathCount.com, which claims that more than a dozen people have been killed and over a hundred injured as a result of these sales. While you may not encounter anything near this dramatic, there are real dangers that holiday shoppers face during the season. Slip and fall accidents and injuries due to falling objects are common and typically happen as a result of the following:
- Wet, slippery floors;
- Torn carpet and damaged flooring tiles;
- Uneven walkways;
- Cluttered aisles;
- Overstocked shelves;
- Lack of proper lighting or handrails.
When injuries occur as a result of the above, your first step should be to immediately report it to store security so that an accident report can be filed. Property owners can be held liable for injuries suffered due to dangerous conditions and for failing to warn visitors of potential hazards.
Protect Yourself Against Parking Lot Accidents
One of the most dangerous places during the holiday season is not in stores but in parking lots outside. Drivers in a rush to finish holiday shopping or to get home to their families make these locations treacherous and increase the risk for potentially serious accidents.
- Be alert when walking through parking lots and watch for drivers leaving spaces;
- When driving, go slow and watch for pedestrians or people pulling out suddenly;
- If you can, back into parking lot spaces, which gives you a better view pulling out;
- If an accident does occur, notify the police immediately and get medical attention, regardless of the severity of your injuries.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we provide the legal guidance you need when accidents occur, so you can get the compensation you are entitled to. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal injury attorneys online to request a consultation today.