Retail stores must be safe for customers or injuries could occur. If you have been hurt in a store, speak to a personal injury lawyer and let them review your case to determine your damages. In the meantime, review the information below about what store owners must do to protect customers from being hurt in their stores.
Understanding the Duty of Care
When you enter a retail establishment, you are also entering into a special type of relationship with the store. They owe you what is called a duty of care. That means the store is primarily responsible for your safety while you are visiting the store. It's easy to see why this is important. After all, customers have very little opportunity to know about safety hazards that might be present in a retail environment. Customers may have a full understanding of road safety and how to keep things safe at home, but they cannot be expected to know how to stay safe in a store. That is up to the owner of the store to make things safe, keep things safe, and warn customers of potential hazards. That is the duty of care.
Making Things Safe
Stores are very different from residential homes in just about every aspect — even when they appear as welcoming and friendly to customers as home would. The electrical system of commercial buildings is different along with the rules for a safe operation of all major systems. Businesses face regular inspections for issues like fire alarms, lighted exits, and other hazards common in buildings where large numbers of customers may gather. Doors, for example, on buildings of a certain size must be larger to accommodate the possibility of having to evacuate the premises.
Keeping Things Safe
Retail environments are usually ever-changing and store employees must keep up with any new hazards all the time. When a customer spills a drink on the floor, it must be dried quickly before a customer slips down and is hurt.
Stores also have a duty to warn customers about hazards that cannot be quickly eradicated. For example, if an area of the store is off-limits due to construction, it must be clearly marked to catch the attention of shoppers so that they stay away. If it begins to rain, warning cones near the entrance of the store need to be set up to prevent falls.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer if you have been hurt in a retail store. The owner could be responsible for paying your medical bills, personal property costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To find more info on personal injury law, speak to an attorney near you.