At first glance, this might sound like a silly question – how can shopping carts be dangerous enough to result in a personal injury lawsuit? But studies show that about 24,000 kids are injured by shopping carts every year. Injuries are most prevalent during peak shopping hours and peak shopping days (a.k.a. Black Friday). If your child is injured by a shopping cart inside our outside of a store, who do you sue?
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
For a personal injury claim to be successful, you have to show that another’s negligence caused your injuries. When it comes to accidents involving shopping carts, the following four elements must be present:
- The other shopper had a legal duty to use the shopping cart with reasonable care, or the store employee had a legal duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances.
- The shopper or store employee breached that legal duty.
- The breach of duty caused the injuries.
- Actual damages occurred, whether property or bodily, or both.
Is the Store Responsible?
In some cases, the store itself may be responsible for damages. You can sue the store under three legal theories. These are:
- Premises liability: This occurs when the store owner or property manager knew about, or should have known about, a dangerous condition.
- Negligence: This may be a factor when, for example, an employer fails to properly train or supervise employees.
- Vicarious liability: Under certain circumstances, a store can be held liable for the negligent actions of an employee.
Shopping Cart Injury Statistics
The questions of if, how, and who to sue following a shopping cart injury can be difficult to answer. The help of an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer is essential to a favorable outcome. Although shopping carts don’t seem particularly dangerous, young children actually have a relatively high risk of injury in a shopping cart. Between 1990 and 2011, more than 65 children ended up in emergency rooms with shopping cart-related injuries every day. Among them, most were under the age of four, and more than 80 percent of the injuries were to the head, 15 percent to the upper extremities, and six percent to the lower extremities. In order of frequency, cart injuries were caused by:
- Children falling out of carts
- Carts tipping
- Children running into a cart
- Extremities becoming trapped in the cart
In 2004, voluntary shopping cart standards were introduced. However, the frequency of injuries has not dropped. “The take-home message is that the standard can be strengthened and we can do much better,” said Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “These injuries can be prevented.” A MA personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a shopping cart.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you have been injured in any type of accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. If another’s negligence has caused you harm, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Our experienced attorneys will analyze your case to determine the best legal strategy, and we will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for clients. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. If you’ve been injured, we can help you get your life back on track. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case