When we think of the most dangerous place to be, most of us would mention certain parts of our cities. For example, we could think that construction sites are areas from which we need to distance ourselves. Another place can be just as unsafe, especially on Black Friday — shopping establishments.
The New York Post reported in 2020 that deaths and injuries have occurred on Black Friday. To date, there have been several casualties and more than a hundred serious injuries recorded.
While these numbers may seem minuscule, they should be enough to concern shoppers and business establishments alike. Injuries occurring while shopping the day after Thanksgiving can be severe and traumatic. As well, these can spell potential liabilities on the part of the establishment’s owner.
Being aware of the most common types of store injuries can help you stay safe while shopping. Read on to learn more about the most common injuries in a store on Black Friday.
1. Injuries from Trampling
Black Friday is the time of year when stores get the most customer traffic. For this reason, crowding on doors and passages are common events that lead to a bottleneck of excited shoppers. Amidst the crowd, some may be the victims of trampling.
Trampling injuries account for the majority of Black Friday shopping injuries. According to The Hustle, a third of all recorded injuries in a store were the result of stampede or trampling. The statistics also show that trampling killed two shoppers in 2018.
Trampling injuries occur as bruising due to compression and contact against other shoppers. At their most severe, injuries sustained from stampede include broken bones and, at times, even concussions and contusions.
2. Injuries in Stores from Pacification Attempts
Security staff and the police are not oblivious to how things can get out of hand the Friday after Thanksgiving. For this reason, malls and other shopping establishments have a detail consisting of security staff, present in all parts of the mall. Police are also ubiquitous along the periphery of many establishments during this time of year.
Since 2006, security staff and the police have had to resort to various means of crowd control. Since force is a requirement for crowd pacification, injuries do occur. In 2011, pepper-spraying was the method used, causing mild corneal abrasions amongst many unruly shoppers.
On Black Friday, shoppers flock to their nearest malls or retailers. The exodus of shoppers can cause traffic on the streets, parking lots, and sidewalks. Inside a store, crowding can cause obstructions along walkways and stairs. All of these conditions can start pacification attempts and trampling injuries, which lead to wounds.
According to the most recent statistics of injuries in stores, emergency medical staff have had to treat wounds since 2006. From 2012 until 2018, a number of shoppers were shot, sustaining gunshot wounds that prompted emergency treatment.
4. Injuries from Car Accidents and Brawls
With shoppers flocking to malls, the chances of cars colliding with each other increase. As tempers flare over claimed items and parking spaces, fighting usually erupts between two or more people.
Both of these incidents give rise to injuries. Injuries resulting from car accidents and fighting often occur in the facial region but also on other parts of the body. Injuries from parking lot fights led to at least nine injuries. Since these are the only incidences reported, the number may actually be higher.
Cars en route to shopping establishments run into each other. With rear-ending being a common occurrence, the most common types of car injuries are whiplash and shoulder dislocations.
5. Slip and Fall Injuries
Injuries in stores on Black Friday can occur due to slippery surfaces. Equally possible are injuries sustained from tripping after being pushed aside. Whichever the cause may be, slip and fall injuries are contingencies that mall workers need to anticipate.
Slip and fall injuries can result in fractures and bruises along the lower back and thighs. At their worst, they can lead to head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and bleeding.
Slip and fall injuries resulting from the surface inside a store can render the owner of the establishment liable. This is why the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has safety guidelines in place. These not only ensure the safety of staff but also carry over to the safety of shoppers on Black Friday.
If You Sustain Injuries in a Store, Get Legal Assistance
Black Friday shopping can be fun, but it is not without its share of risks. If you have been injured in a store by a slip and fall accident, negligent security, faulty shelving or any other reason call our experienced premises liability attorneys at Fetterman Law today for a free consultation.