James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C.
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Retailers can't overlook dangerous property conditions

The holiday season is in full swing, and during the coming days, many people in West Virginia will be scrambling to buy holiday gifts for their friends and family. Going to retail stores and shopping malls is undoubtedly a ritual for people all over the country during this time of the year. The only kind of injury that these shopping trips typically result in is in the form of credit card debt or a reduced bank account balance. Occasionally, however, a person can end up with physical injuries while shopping at a store.

One common cause of injury that can occur while shopping is a slip-and-fall accident, which can be caused by a variety of dangerous property conditions. In addition to the possibility of wet or slippery flooring causing this kind of accident, poorly maintained carpeting can also result in shoppers tripping and falling. Furthermore, if the property does not have sufficient lighting, that can cause a person to miss a step or fail to see some other walking obstacle that he or she needs to avoid. This can be a problem both in the store or outside of it in the parking lot.

Falling objects in a store or mall can also pose a danger to shoppers. If the retailer arranges its products and displays in a way that is not sturdy, they can topple and harm anyone nearby. Also, if the store owner or staff does not make products easily accessible to shoppers, or does not offer them help in getting the products, that can lead to injury. For instance, if a shopper has to reach to grab a heavy product from high shelving, that could pose unnecessary dangers.

Most people probably never even consider the possibility of getting injured while shopping at a Charleston-area store. But the reality is that these injuries do happen. When this type of accident is a result of the property or store owner's failure to maintain the property, the victim has legal rights. Under West Virginia law, store owners must take reasonable steps, including removing or warning of hazards on the property, to keep shoppers safe.

The holiday season is usually a fun time of the year, and that fun often includes shopping. No matter the time of year, shopping should not have to end in an injury due to a negligent retailer.

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112 Capitol Street
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Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 304-347-5050
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