You might want to keep a personal injury attorney on speed dial if you plan to do any holiday shopping this year.

Thousands of people each year are injured while visiting stores, shopping centers or malls. Retail establishments may seem harmless, but hazards do exist, and those perils increase during the holiday season.

Types of Retail Store Injuries

Many injuries that occur in retail establishments are minor, such as bruises, bumps and small cuts. However, serious injuries, including sprains, broken bones, neck or spinal injuries, head trauma or even death, occur more often than you may suspect.

Many people are injured by slips, trips and falls due to wet or damaged floors and poor lighting conditions. Others may be hit by objects falling from high shelves or collapsing retail displays. Still others may be harmed by unsafe parking lot conditions, such as cracked pavement or ice accumulation, or from improperly maintained stairways, elevators and escalators.

Another common injury, potentially more perilous than the rest, results from being knocked down and/or trampled. If you’ve ever participated in a Black Friday sale, you’ve probably seen the brutality that can result when stores lack adequate security and crowd control.

Legal Claims for Shopping-Related Injuries

Building owners and store operators are legally responsible for ensuring that the property is reasonably safe and free of hazards that can cause injury. This means handling repairs, cleaning up spills, keeping walkways clear and providing adequate lighting and security.

Because these cases can be complex, it’s important to have a personal injury attorney on your side.

To prove a claim for compensation, you must demonstrate that the store or building owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident, and that he or she failed to eliminate or repair the problem.

You also must show the court that your injuries resulted from the hazardous condition and that you have suffered damages. An injury attorney can help you prove damages that include medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning potential and pain and suffering.

What to Do if You Are Injured

Prompt medical attention is necessary if you are injured in a retail establishment, not only for treatment, but also to serve as potential evidence in a legal claim. Next, call your personal injury attorney.

Witnesses may be crucial for proving that the store was at fault for your injuries. It can be helpful to identify any bystanders who may have seen the accident, as they can corroborate your recollection of the events. The store’s surveillance footage may also be beneficial to your case. An injury attorney can help with locating witnesses and compelling the store to release its security recordings.

If your holiday shopping trip results in an accident, an experienced lawyer can help you receive compensation from those who were responsible. In Boise, contact the Montgomery Dowdle Law Offices to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal and insurance claim processes and ensure the best outcome for your personal injury case.