Chicago Attorneys for People Injured by Falling Store Merchandise
Most of us have shopped at large warehouse stores with merchandise stacked up in towering store shelves that are sometimes high above the floor level. This business model is both convenient and cost-effective for large outlets because it eliminates the need for additional storage or another warehouse to maintain large quantities of merchandise. However, when merchandise is inadequately secured, it poses a serious risk to the unsuspecting shoppers if, or when, boxes fall and hit customers below.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers fight insurance companies on behalf of our clients who require medical care after suffering injuries from falling merchandise on the sales floor. Our merchandise accidents lawyers have handled retail store premises liability lawsuits in the following localities throughout Illinois including:
- Cook County
- DuPage County
- Lake County
- Will County
The Store's Duty of Care
To avoid being involved in premises liability cases, retail store owners must prevent workers from high stacking heavy merchandise on the company’s shelves. Instead, employees must stack merchandise to avoid any dangerous condition that could cause serious injury to the shoppers.
Prevalence Of Falling Merchandise Injuries At Large Retailers & Warehouse Chain Stores
The United States federal government has yet to mandate a collection system for gathering information on dangerous conditions that lead to shopping mall accidents. Because of that, the exact number of falling merchandise injuries has not been documented, so the real number of personal injury claims remains unknown. However, there have been many articles, T.V. news shows, and extensive litigation on this topic, lending some reasonable estimates on the prevalence of these accidents. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is familiar with the merchandising practices at such large stores like Costco, Home Depot, Lowe's, Target and Walmart.
A white paper produced by the Roderick Retail Safety Institute in 2009, written by Dr. Larry Roderick, Ph.D., P.E., conservatively estimates 750,000 customer accidents each year in the United States. How many of these are from falling merchandise is challenging to determine. Some big-box stores have taken safety measures to protect their customers by stopping the shelves after hours.
Injuries From Falling Merchandise Sustained By CustomersMany people have been crushed by large pallets or objects falling from the “sky shelving” inside some warehouse stores. Their injuries are not just caused by large or heavy objects but by the velocity as item falls. Even a small object hurtling toward the sales floor can be dangerous. For example, an eight-pound bowling ball dropped four feet will have the “weight” of a 400 lb stationary object.
Under these hazardous conditions, falling merchandise is likely to strike the head of the victim. Various injuries can occur from wet floor fall accidents and falling merchandise:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones (see here)
- Crush injuries (look here)
- Fall Injuries
- Bruises or contusions
Responsibility of Stores to Protect Customers From Injuries From Falling Merchandise
Under premises liability law, retail store owners are duty-bound to provide a safe environment for their customers and employees. Any merchandise falling from the shelving can be considered a serious premise liability issue. When a business is not properly securing their merchandise, they are not protecting the consumer from possible injury.
In most cases, the store owner, management, and employees will be found financially liable for injuries. Many injured customers are entitled to receive a monetary award to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Falling Merchandise Premises Liability Lawyers
Were you or a family member injured, or have you have lost a loved one in a falling merchandise accident in Illinois? If so, you deserve full compensation through a favorable settlement or jury trial. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understands the impact an injury or wrongful death can have on a family. Our legal team will fight for your rights within the law.
We have years of experience in handling Illinois premises liability cases and will do everything necessary to obtain the best possible outcome in your personal injury case. A successful resolution of your premises liability claim will include recovery of your medical costs and time away from work.
Schedule an initial free consultation with one phone call at (888) 424-5757. No fee is ever charged unless we obtain a financial award for your case. All information you share remain confidential through our attorney-client relationship.
Resources on stocking tips and merchandise fall protection: