Stores in the New York and New Jersey metro area that create merchandise displays or employ similar tactics to attract shoppers create fall hazards if they allow aisles to become cluttered. Customers and employees can trip or slip and fall and be injured if merchandise or other objects block walkways in a store.
People seriously injured in a fall caused by cluttered store aisles may have a right to seek compensation for damages associated with their injuries, such as medical expenses, lost income during recovery, pain and suffering and other losses. Store owners, operators and other responsible parties may be held liable if they were negligent in allowing conditions that caused the injury.
The personal injury law firm of Ginarte Gallardo Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., can help if you have been injured in a fall caused by clutter in a store’s aisle in the New York or New Jersey metro area. We are ready to review the circumstances of your accident and advise you about your legal rights.
Fall Hazards Created by Cluttered Store Aisles
Property owners have a legal obligation to make sure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors, particularly retail establishments that solicit visits by potential customers. This includes a duty to monitor the store to ensure that merchandise or other items do not create hazards by blocking walkways.
If fallen merchandise or other items blocking an aisle cannot be immediately removed or there is work underway, store managers should put up barriers and signs warning customers not to enter.
Stores’ obligation to ensure that aisles are not cluttered to the point of becoming fall hazards extends to employees’ safety, as well. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide working conditions that are free of known dangers, including keeping floors in work areas clean.
Shoppers and store employees can trip and fall if those in charge of stores ignore:
- Merchandise displays that block or spill into aisles or other walkways.
- Merchandise that has fallen from overstocked shelves or been knocked off and not picked up.
- Aisles blocked by merchandise, pallets, carts and other objects as employees stock shelves or after work is concluded.
- Brightly colored décor, displays and signs that draw customers’ attention from a cluttered walkway ahead.
Falls Are a Common Cause of Serious Injuries
A shopper or employee who trips and falls in a cluttered store aisle may suffer serious injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Neck, back and spinal cord injuries.
- Broken bones, including hip fractures.
- Sprains, strains, dislocations and tears.
- Lacerations (cuts).
- Contusions (bruises).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says falls are the most common cause of TBI, and that 20 to 30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries.
Injuries suffered in falls may require lengthy recoveries that include expensive medical care. Fall victims may suffer chronic pain or other disabilities that adversely affect their ability to work for a living.
Many people who suffer a fall develop a fear of falling again, the CDC says. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases the risk of falling.
Contact Our NY & NJ Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorneys
The slip-and-fall accident lawyers of Ginarte law can help if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a fall caused by clutter in a retail store in the New York and New Jersey metro area. If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other losses.
If you are an employee of a store injured in a fall accident caused by a cluttered aisle, we can help you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. In some cases, additional compensation may also be available.