Consumers are a heightened risk of injury during the holiday season. As holidays bring joy and cheer, they also bring with them more trips to hospitals and emergency rooms due to falls, criminal attacks, and other incidents.
Potential Hazards Associated with the Holiday Season
The holiday season poses risks for a number of reasons. Ice may accumulate at doors and walkways that consumers slip on. Stores may mount elaborate decorations that draw people to them or that obstruct walkways. Shoppers may track in ice, snow, and water, creating slippery floors. There are approximately 250 injuries per day during the holiday season, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Additional hazards may include:
- Consumers fall down while trying to mount holiday decorations
- Trampling occurs during hot holiday sales
- Customers may be assaulted by criminals who take advantage of inadequate security
Premises liability victims may be able to recover the damages that they sustained. Damages may include economic damages like medical expenses, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A premises liability lawyer can gather evidence to help establish the level of damages that a customer suffered because of the injury.
Property owners who invite others for their own financial gain have a legal duty to ensure the safety of guests or customers on their property. To recover damages for their injuries, victims must establish that the property owner was negligent in some way that caused their injuries.
The victim must establish that the property owner knew that an unsafe condition was present on the property and was likely to result in an injury. The property owner must have failed to correct this condition or to warn customers of the potential hazard. For example, in cases in which a customer is assaulted by a criminal, the victim must show that the safety of customers was likely to be in jeopardy. This may be because of recent crimes in the area that were similar to the crime that injured the victim.
The customer must establish that the property owner could reasonably foresee the type of incident that ultimately injured the customer, whether this is a slip and fall or if it is a criminal act. The property owner may be required to hire additional security, use security cameras, install exterior lighting or provide emergency phones to its customers if it knows that they may be in danger.