Whether you’re picking out the perfect gifts for your loved ones or taking advantage of holiday sales for yourself, shopping will probably be a part of your holiday season.
Unfortunately, the crowding and excitement of finding the best holiday deals also lead to a major uptick in several kinds of shopping accidents each year.
We’ve put together a guide covering common holiday shopping accidents, and what you should do at the scene of the accident and in the days following the accident if you’re injured.
Top Florida Shopping Injury Risks
While winter weather is scarcely a concern in South Florida, the increase in traffic over the holidays leads to an uptick in vehicle collisions and pedestrian accidents. Injuries in shopping centers such as slips, trips, and falls are also common culprits for Florida shopping injuries.
Although we don’t often contend with snow in South Florida, vehicle accidents still go up over the holidays. Increased traffic due to local holiday traffic and vacationers, together with holiday drinking, make vehicle collisions more common.
Similarly, pedestrians are frequently involved in vehicle accidents due to increased vehicle and foot traffic.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
In often-chaotic Florida shopping centers, crowds and unsafe conditions can lead to slips, trips, and falls, which can cause serious injury. In fact, these are one of the most common types of personal injuries.
Falling Object Injuries
Shoppers or employees attempting to remove heavy objects from shelves can cause the merchandise to fall, injuring themselves or nearby shoppers.
What To Do Following a Florida Shopping Injury
When you’ve been injured in a shopping-related accident, knowing what to do immediately following the accident and in the days following the accident can help you stay safe, and seek compensation for your losses through a personal injury suit if necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority is your safety. If you even think you might be hurt, seek immediate medical attention following any type of shopping accident.
Call the Police
When you’re involved in a vehicle collision or pedestrian accident, call the police to file a police report at the scene of the accident. This is required in many cases and could be important evidence later on.
If you’re able, gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. This includes taking pictures and writing down an account of what happened as soon as you’re able.
Talk to Witnesses
Whenever possible, talk to witnesses at the scene of the accident. Record their names and contact information.
Notify the Relevant Parties
Following an auto accident, you should notify your insurance company and the DMV as soon as possible. If you’re injured in a store or shopping center, you’ll likely need to file an incident report with the business.
Evaluate Your Liability Options with a Seasoned Florida Attorney
A Florida shopping injury can not only put a damper on your holiday season but can also result in costly medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you feel that your accident could have been prevented but for the negligence of the responsible parties, consider seeking damages through a personal injury suit. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case with you and help you determine your best steps forward.
When you’re injured in a holiday shopping accident, knowing what to do ahead of time is imperative to stay safe, and if necessary, seek compensation for your losses through a personal injury suit.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.