Shopping Injuries

If you’re reading this post, then you survived Black Friday. Congratulations. You either stayed in the house or threw some elbows and held your own. We’re very proud. 

Shopping-related injuries (for example: slips and falls, back and neck injuries, etc.) account for thousands of personal injury claims each year in the U.S. Aside from the damage done to your wallet, most people do not consider themselves in any particular danger when shopping for clothing, toys, or electronics. Shopping injuries, however, are more common than you think and sometimes even involve a store owner’s failure to keep their premises safe or warn of known hazards. 

Types of Shopping Injuries

It comes as no surprise that the rate of shopping injuries tends to increase during heavy shopping seasons, such as the Christmas season (particularly Black Friday). Here are the typical shopping-related accidents that may occur on a store’s property:

  • Slip and Falls –as a result of wet floors, torn carpets, poorly lit lighting, and escalator malfunctions
  • Head and body injuries – from falling objects, retail displays, out-of-reach objects, or other mishaps
  • Shopping cart injuries – falls as a result of a cart tipping over
  • Overcrowding injuries – as a result of over-crowding hazards, i.e. trampling (this is the one that generally occurs during the Christmas season)
  • Parking lot injuries – as a result of a cracked or improperly designed parking lot, or failure to remove ice or snow

Shop Well

While there is a lot the store manager can and should be doing to prevent these injuries from happening, the responsibility to be safe while shopping is yours. So here are some tips to shop like a pro:

  • Dress for it: This means that while those ballet flats are precious, if they don’t grip the floor, don’t wear them out shopping. Choose shoes that fit well and will not slide if you hit a fleshly mopped patch of tiles. And as for high heels? Sure go for it, but don’t file a lawsuit when you break your ankle.
  • Eat, Drink, Be Merry: Shopping is a grueling thing. Don’t starve yourself or let yourself get dehydrated. Accidents happen when you don’t pay attention and when you’re hungry or dehydrated, it’s difficult to be alert. Bring a light snack or two (depending on how long you’ll be out) with PROTEIN (meat, cheese, nuts). Try to drink a bottle of water for every hour and a half you’re shopping at minimum.
  • Keep your eyes open:  Be alert and keep your eyes peeled. Look for things like wet floor, unsteady displays, shelved items that could fall, or any other danger. If you need an item that is out of reach, ask a sales associate for help. They have ladders and rods to reach high-placed items. It’s their job to help.
  • No Horseplay, Sorry: I agree. After an hour of shopping, I would like to liven things up with a little in-store game or a shopping cart ride. But as mom always said, “that’s how people get hurt” (said immediately after pushing friend down an aisle in a cart, throwing a pizza like a frisbee, tag through the clothing section… you remember). Horseplay is never a great idea indoors, but particularly when a shopping area is crowded, injuries are far more common. It’s also highly possible to anger another shopper into a rage that initiates a mob stampede that results in several trampling-related injuries. So maybe stick to a nice conversation or even some Christmas caroling?

Happy Shopping! 

Sandy Hayden

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2 thoughts on “Shopping Injuries

  1. Just wondering if I could call ServPro after being attacked with pepper spray while trying to buy a Giggle Me Elmo for my niece? I avoid Black Friday for these very reasons and prefer to shop at locally owned shops. Easier to get in and out of, fewer crowds, comparable prices, and I don’t have to travel as far (so I save on gas and it’s more environmentally friendly). 🙂 Try to support your local dealers, your neighbors and your community.

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