Store injuries happen more frequently than many people realize. An unsecured shelf, slippery floor, or icy pavement in the parking lot can lead to severe personal injuries. If you have suffered an injury such as broken bones or a back, neck, or head injury while shopping in Maryland, you need to know how to file a premises liability claim. A personal injury claim can result in compensation from the responsible party – i.e. the store property owner – for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Gather Information about the Incident
Collect as much info about the event as possible at the time of your accident. Write down the name of the retail store or shopping center, the name of the staff members and management personnel you spoke with about the incident, and how the accident happened. If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident and anything that may have contributed, such as:
- A spill on the floor
- Waxy or oily floors
- A rickety staircase
- An uneven curb
- Improperly designed parking lot
- A shelf that fell down
- Shopping cart that tipped over
- Poor lighting
- Loose carpeting
- Ice or snow on pavement
- Obstructions in the walking path
- Construction material in the way
- Exposed cords
- Malfunctioning elevator or escalator
- Blocked exits
If you suffered personal injuries, have someone take photos of these as well. Write down the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. The more information you can record, and the more details you write down, the more evidence you’ll have for a personal injury case.
Seek Medical Help for Your Injuries ASAP
Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible after a shopping accident. Waiting to see a doctor can not only make your injuries worse, but will also look bad to a judge or jury if you file a personal injury claim. The defendant may be able to argue that your injuries couldn’t have been too severe if you put off seeking medical attention. Keep a record of all medical bills, treatment regimes, and care you receive. Write down the name of the physician and/or nurses who treated you, and let them know you plan to file a personal injury case against the store owner. They will record the nature and probable causes of your injuries in detail.
Safety Must Be a Retail Store Owner’s #1 Concern
A property owner has a duty to keep his or her premises reasonably safe for visitors. “Reasonably safe” means inspecting for unknown hazards, repairing known hazards in a timely manner, and posting clear and concise warnings regarding hazards not yet repaired. Failure to maintain a property, leading to an unreasonably hazardous condition and a personal injury, is negligence.
As a customer in a retail store or shopping center, you are an invitee to the property. Property owners owe the greatest level of care to invitees – more so than licensees or trespassers. As an invitee in a retail store, you can expect a reasonably safe premises free from hazards. While many property owners argue that premises liability accidents are partially the fault of the customer, who might have avoided the incident with proper prudence, an experienced attorney can help present evidence to the contrary. An attorney with premises liability specialization will help you file a claim for your retail store accident.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you’re on the mend from your personal injuries, consult with a personal injury attorney in Baltimore about your accident. Tell the attorney the exact circumstances of your slip and fall, parking lot, or retail display injury. You may have grounds to sue the property owner or a third party for failure to keep a reasonably safe premises, even in the parking lot. Premises liability cases center on the basis of negligence. For a free consultation, call The Law Offices of Randolph Rice in Baltimore today! 410-844-5333