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Premises Liability For Black Friday Shopping Injuries

Thanksgiving Day is almost here and though for some this is a time to gather with family and loved ones for a hearty meal, for others it signifies the eve of one of the largest shopping days of the year – Black Friday. Black Friday has become notorious as much for the amazing deals as for the large crowds that flock to stores to claim the deals. Despite the fact that every year there are reports of injuries and sometimes deaths associated with riotous crowds, people still participate in this annual shopping tradition.

Does a shopper who chooses to participate in a Black Friday event have any rights if he or she is injured? The answer to this depends in part on the precautions the business takes to ensure the shopper’s safety. When a person goes into a store for a business purpose, he or she is classified as an invitee under Ohio law. Invitees are owed a high duty of care by property owners. When a court finds that the duty of care has been breached because the property owner, or in this case business owner, failed to do something they should have, then the invitee is likely to win for injuries caused as a result of this failure.

Generally, a property owner has a duty of ordinary care to an invitee, but has no duty to warn the invitee of obvious dangers that should have been obvious to the invitee. Courts also look to the foreseeability of the injury that the invitee sustained, and if the property owner took any precautions to ensure that invitees would not get injured. For example, did the store have additional staff ready to assist with crowd control? Were there additional security measures taken to ensure that injuries would not occur? These are all questions whose answers depend on the facts of a particular case.

With Black Friday, there are additional factors to be considered because the injuries caused to some people might be as a result of being physically injured by third parties who are not affiliated with the store or property owner. While an injury from a fellow Black Friday shopper may not completely absolve the store of their duty, it may be a hurdle to receiving compensation from the store.

The injured person also has to look towards their actions or inactions that may have contributed to the injuries. Ohio is a comparative negligence state; this means that the injured party’s conduct is considered in determining how much is to be awarded in damages, assuming the rest of the case can be proven. If the injured party is found to be more than 50 percent at fault in the situation leading to injury, then he or she cannot be compensated.

Contact a Columbus Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of another person, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your claim while you concentrate on recovering. Contact Columbus personal injury attorney Ed Schottenstein of the Schottenstein Law Offices for a free consultation today at (614) 467-8474.