Why Big Box Stores Can Be Especially Risky for Shoppers

Big Box Store Accident

The large retail operations known as “big box stores” have become so prevalent that we may wonder how we ever did without them. But despite their convenience and product diversity, these warehouse-type outlets they can be very dangerous places for shoppers. The risk of injury is in fact higher than at most other retail stores.

The following are some of the common reasons for risk of injuries at big box stores:

  • Ineffectual staff — Big box stores tend to be thinly staffed, and the employees are typically hired at entry level and given minimal training. An unqualified worker may be operating a forklift, mobile stairs or other equipment, creating risk of accidents. A stock person pushing a cart loaded with merchandise may hit a shopper. Also, shoppers left to roam unsupervised can get into accidents themselves. 
  • Falling merchandise — It’s not unusual to see boxes stowed on upper shelves or stacked high in floor displays. If a customer tries to remove a large or heavy box from a high shelf, it can cause that box or others to fall. Floor displays can tumble over if they are jostled or if a box is improperly removed. 
  • Obstacles in the aisles — Pallets, carts, other equipment and stacks of merchandise can be left scattered due to understaffing or the pressure to restock shelves. Also, the aisles surge with shopper traffic, including people carrying large items improperly or out of balance. 
  • Spilled liquids — Whether caused by a dropped drink, a leaking product or rainwater or slush being trudged from outdoors, liquids can create slippery floors if not cleaned up promptly. Also, improper cleaning routines might leave mop water or debris on the floor.
  • Exterior dangers — Poorly maintained sidewalks and parking lots may have potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces that can cause trips and falls. Inadequate lighting in parking lots can make it difficult for drivers to navigate safely and can create areas of concealment that can become potential sites for physical attacks.

Under New York law, retailers have a duty to provide reasonably safe environments for shoppers. If a slip and fall or other type of accident results from an unsafe condition that the store managers knew of (or should have known of), the store may be held liable for compensating the injured victim.

If you are hurt in a big box store, document the accident scene by taking pictures or videos. Report the incident to a manager immediately, but do not admit any negligence on your part. Then, seek medical attention at an ER or trauma center. As soon as possible, consult with an experienced premises liability attorney. You will need a skilled lawyer in your corner, since corporations and their insurance companies might use delaying tactics and bad faith to avoid paying compensation. 

Rich & Rich, P.C. has a proven track record in New York premises liability cases. We will fight to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible. Call {PHONE} or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

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