When a store or commercial establishment opens its doors to customers, the law imposes a duty on the store to make sure that the premises is safe for customers. The duty is defined by a body of law known as premises liability law. Under premises liability law, people invited somewhere to do business are classified as invitees and they are owed the highest duty of care by the owners of stores or commercial establishments. The owner/occupier of the property must inspect the premises on a regular basis for any dangers and must correct any potential hazards. When correction is not possible , the owner must warn visitors and guests of the danger.
When a store or establishment fails to fulfill the duty owed to invitees, the store can become liable for any injuries that directly result from the breach of duty. One example of a type of injury that may result is an injury caused by falling merchandise. If you or a loved one has been injured by falling merchandise, it is very important that you get legal help to learn what your options are for holding the store responsible. A Boston personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can assess your situation to determine if you have a premises liability case and can help you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today using our online form or via phone at (617) 367-2900.Massachusetts Injury Claims for Falling Merchandise
Merchants and store owners are obligated to make sure their properties are reasonably safe from premises hazards before customers are invited on to the property. Premises hazards are anything that create an unreasonable danger of injury to guests. Falling merchandise can present a significant danger to customers as the merchandise could strike them when falling, sometimes causing serious injury.
Store owners, therefore, have an obligation to do everything possible to prevent merchandise from falling. While courts understand that merchandise must be kept on shelves, it also must be stored safely. This means the shelves should be deep and wide enough for the merchandise being stored; merchandise should not be stacked in a manner that increases the likelihood of falling; devices should be used to stabilize heavy merchandise prone to falling; and the shelves should be checked periodically to ensure that merchandise is stored in a safe position.
When a store owner or operator fails in any way to inspect for dangers or to take reasonable steps to protect customers from falling merchandise, premises liability law may impose liability on the store owner. This means the owner may become responsible for paying all costs associated with the injury caused by the falling merchandise. These costs can include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, among other damages.
In order to recover this compensation, the injury victim must show that the property owner was negligent in some way that led to the falling merchandise and resulting injury. There are a number of methods used to show negligence including presenting maintenance records and providing reports on the incidence of merchandise falling. For instance, in a 1997 case Scharrel v. Wal Mart Stores, Inc., the injured victim was allowed to introduce into evidence a written report indicating that 17,000 falling merchandise incidents had resulted in injuries to Wal-Mart customers between 1989 and 1994. Your personal injury attorney will help you to understand what types of evidence you need and will assist you in gathering the necessary proof to make your claim based on falling merchandise.
To learn more about how a Boston premises liability lawyer can help you after a falling merchandise accident, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form. Remember your consultation is always free and we are here to put our legal skills to work for you.