Black Friday kicks off a long holiday shopping season that, for many, lasts right until Christmas Eve. Black Friday and other popular sales events during the holiday seasons draw big crowds and retailers and shop owners need to be prepared for the customers that flood their stores.
Customers heading out shopping on Black Friday and any time during the holiday season also need to keep in mind that this time of year comes with increased accident risks. Unfortunately, these dangers can be exacerbated by large holiday crowds, so you may be at greater risk of getting hurt in a store on popular shopping days.
To help you stay safe on Black Friday and throughout the holiday shopping season, our Queens personal injury attorneys want to offer some shopping safety tips.
Shopping Safety: Understanding the Risks
There are a variety of different risks that shoppers may face during the holiday season and the best way to protect yourself from these dangers is to remain aware of your surroundings. Some of the shopping safety risks that you may encounter on Black Friday or when out doing your holiday shopping include:
- Escalators. Shoelaces can become caught, trapping you in the escalator. This presents an especially grave danger for kids.
- Elevators. Injuries can occur when getting off and on elevators and can cause serious injury or even death.
- Parking lot falls. It is often icy and slippery in New York on Black Friday and during the winter months. Slipping on ice can be dangerous enough, but if you slip and fall during a Black Friday shopping frenzy, you’re also at greater risk of being run over.
- Poorly maintained stores or buildings. You might slip on a broken sidewalk outside the store, for example, or fall down stairs with loose and wobbly railings.
- Slippery floors. Floors could be slippery because of snow and ice or because store employees wash them to remove the dirt and residue from hordes of Black Friday shoppers.
- Merchandise falling from high shelves. Stores often overstock for Black Friday and customers don’t always put things back where they should, creating a situation where items might fall on your head.
- Assaults or attacks in the parking lot. Thieves often flock to Black Friday and Christmas shopping events because they know they can get lost in the crowd and that people have expensive merchandise.
- Crowds. During Black Friday, crowds have trampled people to death. Aggressive shoppers have also fired weapons or even used pepper spray on other bargain hunters.
By being aware of these risks, you can try to take steps to avoid them. For example, you should wear comfortable shoes that allow you to balance well and that have short laces or no laces so they won’t become caught in escalators. You can also shop with a friend so you have safety in numbers, and be vigilant of potential dangers such as a floor that looks slippery. Finally, if you are concerned about a crowd getting out of control or worried about theft, you can speak to store security or a store employee.
Ultimately, it is the stores that are responsible for taking steps to ensure your safety on Black Friday and during any visit to their establishment. This means stores should be willing to work with you to keep you safe if you experience a problem while shopping. It also means that stores can be held legally accountable through a premises liability lawsuit if you head out shopping on Black Friday or any other day and you suffer an injury do to unaddressed negligent conditions on business property.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accidents victims. Call 1-877-313-7673.
NYC Traffic Accidents in Focus as Holidays Approach, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2012
Sidewalk Obstruction in Manhattan Leads to Fatal Pedestrian Accident, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, October 23, 2012