Store owners who invite customers onto their property have a duty to keep the premises safe. A person injured by a falling object in a store may be able to seek compensation for their injuries. Atlanta premises liability lawyer Terrence R. Bethune founded The Bethune Law Firm in 1997 to help injured Georgians. If you have been injured by falling merchandise, a liability lawyer at The Bethune Law Firm can evaluate your case for free and inform you of your legal options.
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FALLING MERCHANDISE POSES A THREAT OF SERIOUS INJURY
Falling merchandise can seriously injure unsuspecting shoppers. Recent research on head and neck injuries illuminates these risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concussions or other mild head injuries can cause long term damage to a person’s ability to think, feel, speak, and feel emotions. About 75 percent of all traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are concussions or other types of mild injuries. Falling merchandise can easily cause these types of injuries.
GEORGIA LAW REQUIRES PROPERTY OWNERS TO REMEDY DANGERS
A person injured by falling merchandise can file a premises liability claim against the property owner. Such a claim alleges that there was a dangerous condition on the property that injured the plaintiff and that the property owner had a duty to but did not remedy the condition.
To prevail in a premises claim, the plaintiff is required to prove:
- A dangerous condition existed in the store;
- The owner knew or should have been aware of the condition;
- The owner did not remedy the situation; and
- The plaintiff’s injury was caused by the condition.
In a falling merchandise case, the dangerous condition might be precariously stacked goods. To prove that the owner should have known of this condition, the plaintiff can use evidence of prior incidents of falling goods, the fact that there were employees in the area who could have seen the danger, or that the goods had been stacked for long enough that an employee should have noticed. If the owner then made no attempt to correct the problem and it ended up injuring the plaintiff, the property owner will be liable.
As with most injury cases, it is important for a person injured by falling merchandise to contact a liability attorney as soon as possible after the incident. The quick turnover of goods and employees that occurs in many retail stores makes preserving evidence while it still exists very important.
INJURED SHOPPERS MAY BE ENTITLED TO DAMAGES
A person injured by falling merchandise who brings a successful premises liability lawsuit is entitled to damages as compensation for her injuries. Medical bills and lost wages are examples of economic compensatory damages, which reimburse the plaintiff for expenses incurred as a result of the injuries. Money to compensate for pain and suffering or emotional distress falls under the category of noneconomic compensatory damages. These damages compensate the plaintiff for injuries that are harder to quantify.
GET THE COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE
Property owners have a duty to ensure their customers’ safety. If a business owner fails to live up to that duty and a customer is injured, the business owner may be liable. Atlanta personal injury attorney Terrence R. Bethune helps clients from throughout Georgia seek compensation for their injuries. If you were injured by falling merchandise, call 1-800-INJURED or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.