James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C.
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Watch out for shopping-related injuries this time of year

A couple of weeks ago, many people in Charleston and throughout West Virginia enjoyed their Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. For some people, filling up on turkey and pie is not the end of Thanksgiving, but rather, it is a prelude to the holiday shopping extravaganza that follows.

Every year, shopping malls and other retail locations across the country attract millions of shoppers on the Friday that follows Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday. Many stores offer deeply discounted items to lure people into the store on Black Friday. Some stores have even taken the aggressive and sometimes controversial step of opening their doors to shoppers on the night of Thanksgiving. For many retailers, just these one or two days of business can determine whether they will have a profitable year.

Undoubtedly, Thanksgiving kicks off a frenzied holiday shopping season throughout the U.S. While most of this shopping is all in good fun, sometimes it can result in serious and unexpected harm to the shoppers.

If hazardous conditions exist at a mall or store, people who are on the property can suffer injuries. Thousands of shopping-related accidents and injuries occur every year across the country. Many of these injuries are caused by wet floors or slippery flooring, as well as insufficient lighting on the property. Likewise, falling objects from shelves and retail displays can also be a source of injury during shopping.

For the busiest of shopping days, like Black Friday, overcrowding and inadequate mall or store security are substantial dangers that can cause injuries to shoppers.

A serious injury is enough to spoil anyone's fun during the holiday season. When that injury is the result of a dangerous condition at a retail location, the injured victim may want to see if her or she can pursue a personal injury claim against the property or store owner. Nobody expects to get injured while shopping, and retailers have a legal obligation to take steps to keep their patrons safe while on the premises.

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