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Injuries at retail stores are largely preventable

While a Tampa resident may not think about it, and may not want to think about it, there are a lot of ways for him or her to get hurt while out on a shopping trip.

Sadly, when one thinks about it, many if not most of these shopping-related injuries could be prevented by the owner of the retail store or owner of the property itself.

For example, falls are fairly common types of injuries shopping malls, big box stores and other retailers. These falls are often due to floors which are wet from rain, spills or mopping. Floors and equipment, like escalators, which are in poor repair can also cause falls, as can areas that do not have adequate lighting.

These sorts of falls can be prevented by keeping flooring in good repair, free from obstacles and debris, especially items that are hard to notice, and dry. All of these tasks are the responsibility of the owner of the store. In a similar vein, a store or property owner also has an obligation to keep the parking lot in good repair so customers do not trip on raised or broken concrete.

Another common type of injury at a retail store is one due to falling objects. Many stores have to keep merchandise on shelves above the customer’s head, but a serious injury can result if a heavy item kept on a high shelf happens to fall. Likewise, displays can also present a hazard.

As is the case with preventing falls, a store’s owners can prevent head injuries due to falling objects by making sure everything on the floor of the store is properly stored and secured.

As is the case with other businesses, retail stores have an obligation to keep their customers safe. If they fail to take simple steps to prevent the most common shopping-related injuries, then injured customers can hold the store’s owner financially accountable via a premises liabilityclaim.