The concept seems innocent enough: get up early (or stay up late) after Thanksgiving, wait in line at your favorite store, and save 65% on the latest tech gadget. However, anyone willing to brave the Black Friday crowds each year will tell you: this shopper’s holiday has become a fight-to-the-death match between emboldened shoppers willing to stop at nothing to score the top holiday prize. As you prepare for your Black Friday experience, we found it apropos to offer a bit of personal injury advice to keep in mind the next time your cart is sideswiped or you feel like punching the novice who jumped you in line. As always, if you find yourself victimized come Saturday and would like some advice as to how to get even with Santa’s little elves, be sure to contact Nelson Barry right away.
Slips and Falls in the Store
It does not matter that it is Black Friday and your favorite store is expected to admit 500 people at the stroke of 4am. The law requires shopkeepers to keep stores safe from unreasonable risks of harm, as well as inspect stores for possible hazards prior to allowing customers to shop. Thanks to an area of law known as premises liability, shopkeepers can face significant liability on Black Friday for allowing stores to exceed maximum capacity, especially if a shopper is injured in a mad rush and trampled. If a store is expecting to see extremely high crowds on Black Friday, it must prepare the premises with adequate crowd control and require shoppers to wait in a line outside. In many circumstances, a shopkeeper is also responsible for the goings-on in the outside line and could face liability in the event the crowd gets rowdy.
Always keep a lookout for unruly crowds, particularly in the moments following the official opening of the store. Black Friday shoppers in years past have been tragically injured and killed in a mad dash for the hottest holiday item we encourage you to put your safety first.
This Thanksgiving, many Western states, along with most of the Northeast, are facing dreary, wet, icy and snowy weather conditions that would prompt most motorists to stay home. However, wet weather combined with Black Friday means more motorists than average will be out and about, and many are unfamiliar with the requirements of driving in inclement weather. If you plan to shop and know your area is facing a likely blanket of flurries, take extra time and be extra cautious as you navigate the roadways. The simplest of fender benders can quickly become an emotionally-escalated event around the holidays, so it always pays to take extra precautions.
Assaults and Batteries
It goes without saying, but avoid engaging an unruly shopper in an argument over who got to the shelf first. What may begin as a simple disagreement could quickly lead to a bloodied nose or a black eye as some Black Friday shoppers will not relent until they have safety secured the year’s hottest item at 75% off in their cart. Assaults are not only punishable criminally, but can result in significant civil verdicts as well.
Contact Nelson C. Barry if Your Black Friday Goes Awry
If you were injured in an accident either shopping Black Friday or any other day, we encourage you to give us a call today.