You may not think you are at risk while you’re shopping, but scores of shoppers are injured at malls and other retail sites every holiday season. If you’re injured while shopping in the Baltimore area, speak about your rights at once with a Baltimore premises liability attorney.
As you may guess, shopping injury numbers predictably increase during periods such as “Black Friday” and the weeks before Christmas. The term “shopping injuries” covers a variety of injuries that may occur when you’re shopping.
Shopping injuries can happen when a store’s owner or manager fails to keep the premises free of hazards or fails to alert shoppers, employees, or others regarding known hazards on the premises. If you shop over the holidays, read on to learn about your rights if you’re injured while shopping.
Many shopping injuries are trivial injuries, but shoppers also suffer head and neck injuries, broken bones, sprains, spinal cord injuries, and sometimes, disabling or catastrophic injuries.
These are some (but by no means all) of the injuries that can happen at retail locations:
The law in Maryland and every other state requires commercial property owners to take reasonable measures to make sure that their properties are free of hazardous conditions. For example, commercial property owners should immediately:
If you’re injured because the owner or manager of a commercial property was negligent, you will probably qualify to recover monetary compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages by bringing a premises liability claim.
If you were injured in or near Baltimore, schedule a consultation to learn how the law applies to your own case – as soon as possible after a shopping injury – with a Maryland premises liability lawyer.
If you’re injured while you are shopping, summon or seek medical help at once. Some shopping injuries may be difficult to identify or detect. These injuries could remain latent and emerge – days or even weeks later – as a serious medical condition.
That’s why, after any shopping-related accident, if you’re not taken to the hospital or treated at the scene, you must have a medical examination within at least 24 hours. Otherwise, a commercial property owner might claim that your injury isn’t very serious, and an insurance company or a jury may agree.
Be sure that you report your accident and injury as quickly as possible to the store manager, mall manager, or the property owner. Many retailers, hotels, and restaurants will provide you with their own accident report form. Make several copies for yourself before submitting the report.
When you complete that accident report form – and this cannot be stressed strongly enough – make it “to the point” and state only the facts. Anything that you say or write could be used by a commercial property owner against you and against your premises liability claim.
Keep and make copies of your accident report, all medical documents and reports, and all other documents and paperwork generated by your accident and personal injury.
No lawyer will be at an accident scene to advise you, but by obtaining medical documentation of your injury and by promptly reporting the accident to the property owner, you’ll be establishing credibility and putting yourself in the best possible position to prevail with an injury claim.
After a medical exam following a shopping injury, your next priority is arranging as soon as possible to speak about your case with a Maryland premises liability lawyer. That lawyer can help you determine if a retailer or a mall owner is liable for your accident and your injury.
If a commercial property owner or manager can be held liable, you may be compensated for your current and projected future medical bills, your current and projected future lost earnings, and more.
Don’t speak to the property owner’s insurance company. Refer any inquiries or questions to your Baltimore premises liability attorney. Your attorney will be an experienced negotiator who knows the insurance company’s tactics – and knows how to prevail with your injury claim.
It’s rare when a premises liability case goes to trial. In most premises liability cases, the lawyers for each side negotiate a settlement, privately and outside of the courtroom, that is acceptable to both sides.
A retail business owner may not want the publicity that a trial might generate, so quick, reasonable resolutions to shopping injury cases are fairly common.
However, if your injury claim is disputed or denied, the right Baltimore premises liability lawyer will take your case to trial, explain to a jury how and why you suffered a shopping injury, and ask those jurors to order the payment of the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
The deadline or statute of limitations for filing a premises liability claim in a shopping-related injury case is three years from the injury date in Maryland. (In Virginia, it’s two years from the date of the injury.) Do not wait two or three years to speak about your case with an attorney.
You shouldn’t even wait two or three weeks. Your attorney needs to examine any evidence while it’s fresh and needs to speak with any eyewitnesses before their memories fade. As soon as you’ve been examined by a medical professional after a shopping injury, schedule a consultation.
Premises liability lawyers offer a no-cost case evaluation, and if you and your attorney proceed with a premises liability claim, you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless you are compensated. If your claim for any reason does not prevail, you owe nothing.
But it’s up to you to take the first step after a shopping injury and make the call to a Maryland premises liability attorney.