Frenzied shoppers, packed department store aisles, snarled traffic and overly-tired consumers who are relying on adrenaline and caffeine to pull them through the day are all part of the Black Friday shopping experience.
However, nowhere in anyone's Black Friday expectations does a serious accident happen.
If you suffered a serious personal injury while Black Friday shopping, you may have the right to expect compensation from the owner of the store where your injury happened.
What sort of Black Friday injuries are common?
It isn't unusual to get a stubbed toe on a shopping cart, and someone might even bang up your car door with his or her while in a rush to get to the sales.
While those are unfortunate, they aren't the sort of serious events that can keep you out of work, require surgery or even leave you in chronic pain. There are other injuries common to Black Friday, however, that will:
- Violence from another customer who is angry or frustrated because you got something they wanted and didn't get
- Violence from store employees, especially temporary employees who didn't get a full background check or haven't been adequately trained on crowd control
- Injuries in the parking lot, especially if you're hit by a moving car while walking
- A slip-and-fall when you're trying to get through the doors of a store as they open, fall in a pothole in the parking lot or trip on a loose rug or something else laid down near the entrance to catch water and snow from customer's shoes
- Crush injuries when a box that's piled way too high on the shelves to retrieve safely -- or even withstand someone bumping into the shelving unit too hard
When can you sue for these types of injuries?
Was the accident something a reasonable person could have predicted? Did the store owner have the ability to reduce or remove the risk? If so, you probably have a valid claim for negligence.
For example, imagine that a store offers laptops as a Black Friday special but stacks them to the ceiling. Another customer jars the shelves and you get hit on the head by a bunch of falling boxes (with the laptops inside). The store is probably liable for your injuries. Stacking the laptops created an unnecessary risk that could be easily foreseen -- and prevented.
For more specific advice, consider exploring your legal options with an attorney.