Have you been injured by falling merchandise in a Los Angeles store? Are you struggling with a painful injury and costly medical bills? Have you been forced to miss time at work? Contact Citywide Law Group to learn about the benefits of filing a premises liability lawsuit.
You may have the right to hold the store owner responsible for your injuries. The money you recover can help to cover medical costs, make up for lost wages, and compensate for the emotional trauma you’ve experienced. Call our personal injury lawyers to schedule your free consultation today.
Increase in Falling Merchandise Injuries and Deaths
The landscape of retail stores in America is shifting. Smaller mom-and-pop shops are closing their doors thanks to competition from large warehouse stores like Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, and Lowes. The large stores keep a lot of inventory on hand.
In many cases, inventory is stored using “high-stacking” practices. This is where inventory is stacked on high-reaching shelves just out of the consumer’s reach. As the popularity of warehouse stores has increased, so have the number of accidents and injuries related to falling merchandise.
Each year, more than 750,000 customers are injured in stores across the United States. Some of these injuries are caused by slips and falls and others the consumer’s failure to pay attention.
Many of these injuries are the result of falling merchandise. At least one warehouse store reported that it had 10,000 injuries in a single year because of falling merchandise. Another large company reported 17,000 falling merchandise injuries in a five-year span.
Causes of Falling Merchandise Injuries
There are many possible explanations for why merchandise falls and strikes customers in a store. Common causes include:
- High-stacking inventory
- Failure to secure merchandise
- Merchandise stacked unevenly
- Overstacking inventory
- Inadequate shelving systems
- Improperly installed shelves, and
- Protruding merchandise.
Falling Merchandise Injuries
When merchandise falls from a high shelf it can cause serious injuries. Risks associated with falling merchandise accidents include:
- Head injury
- Brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Degloving injury
- Crushing injury
- Amputation injury
- Back injury
- Paralysis, and more.
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you are injured by falling merchandise in a store. Prompt medical treatment can prevent your injury from getting worse.
Holding Stores Liable for Falling Merchandise Injuries
You have the right to feel safe when you enter a retail or warehouse store. California law supports your right to be safe by imposing certain requirements on store and property owners. Store owners have a duty to take steps to make sure that their customers will not be harmed because of a hazard on company property. In order to fulfill this duty, store owners must:
- Regularly inspect for potential hazards, and
- Fix or warn of known risks.
When store owners fail to keep you safe, they may have breached their duty of care to you. As a result, you may be entitled to compensation through a premises liability lawsuit.
For your premises liability lawsuit to be successful, you’ll have to prove:
- The store owner owned, leased, occupied or controlled the premises.
- The store owner was negligent in the use and maintenance of the premises.
- You were injured.
- The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in your harm.
In other words, you have to prove that the store’s negligence caused your injury. A store or store owner may be considered negligent if they:
- Failed to train or supervise employees
- Ordered and used equipment (e.g., shelving) incapable of handling the weight of the merchandise
- Did not regularly inspect the store, merchandise, inventory, and equipment, or
- Failed to warn customers of potential hazards.
It will be important to determine the precise cause of your falling merchandise injury. Contact our attorneys to learn about our aggressive investigation process.
Shared Fault in Falling Merchandise Injury Cases
Companies and store owners may try to blame you for some or all of your injuries. They may argue that you:
- Pushed or pulled on a shelve, causing the merchandise to fall
- Climbed a ladder against store policy, creating a hazard, or
- Stepped on shelving, accelerating the incident.
Don’t worry if the store has tried to blame you for the accident. In California, a victim can still recover compensation even if they share fault. However, damages will be reduced. It’s important to rely on an experienced attorney when you are accused of causing your own injury.
At Citywide Law Group, we will carefully investigate your accident and determine its cause. If you are partially responsible, we will find evidence that shifts as much of the blame away from you as possible. The less fault you share, the more money you can recover. If you clearly aren’t responsible at all, we will find evidence to prove that you should be entitled to recover all damages.
Workplace Merchandise Accident Injuries
If you were injured by falling merchandise at work you may not have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. In California, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When you are injured on the job you can file a petition to recover benefits. The benefits can cover medical expenses, make up for lost wages, and even compensate for disability.
When you receive workers’ compensation benefits you do give up the right to sue your employer. However, you can still sue a third party if they also contributed to your injury.
For example, imagine that you were injured by falling merchandise because of defective shelving. You could recover workers’ compensation benefits and file a personal injury lawsuit against the company that designed or sold those shelves.
Damages Available to Merchandise Accident Victims in Los Angeles
Merchandise can do a lot of damage when it falls from a high shelf. Even relatively-light or small objects can cause serious injuries. Fortunately, you have the right to ask for compensation from the negligent store owner. Our Los Angeles merchandise accident attorneys will aggressively pursue any damages to which you may be entitled. Damages may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Corrective or plastic surgery
- Lost wages
- Damage to personal property
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Embarrassment, and more.
Call Citywide Law Group to find out how our attorneys can help you maximize your financial award. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call for help today.
Los Angeles Falling Merchandise Injury Lawyers
Thousands of customers are injured because of falling merchandise every year. These unexpected injuries can have immediate and devastating consequences. Negligent store owners can be held financially responsible for accident and injury-related costs. Hiring an attorney will help you maximize your financial recovery.
Call Citywide Law Group to schedule your free case assessment. Our attorneys will review your case and help you understand your legal options. Call us for help today.