Shopping carts may seem innocuous enough, even cute if they’re designed like race cars and carrying toddlers around the store. But they become a bit more sinister after an accident, especially one causing injuries. Shopping carts injure 24,000 kids every year, according to one study, and can become especially dangerous during peak shopping hours — like after work — or peak shopping days — like Black Friday.
If you’re injured by a shopping cart in or outside of a store, do you have a legal claim? And whom can you sue?
Suits Against Shoppers or Employees
Shopping injuries are no joke, and can occur in a variety of ways. But most injury lawsuits are based on negligence liability, meaning that someone else’s negligence led to your injury. While it may seem obvious to you that another shopper’s or an employee’s negligence with a shopping cart led to your injury, proving it in court isn’t always easy. There are four elements to a standard negligence claim:
- Duty: The shopper or employee owed you a legal duty to use reasonable care with a shopping cart under the circumstances;
- Breach: The shopper or employee breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way with the shopping cart;
- Causation: It was this breach that actually caused your injuries; and
- Damages: Your injury is real and compensable.
In order to be compensated for your injuries, you will need t be able to prove all four elements, as well as provide an accurate estimate of the amount of cost of your injuries.
Suits Against Stores
Shopping cart injuries could also be the store’s fault. There are three main ways you can sue the stores in which you were injured:
- Premises liability: The store owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property that led to your injury;
- Negligent training/supervision: The employer failed to train employees properly in the shopping cart safety; or
- Vicarious liability: A store employee was negligent in the scope of his or her employment, and the store can be held liable for his or her actions or failure to act.
These legal theories are complex and may overlap in dealing with your shopping cart injury case, but an experienced personal injury attorney can explain how each can help your case.
- Find Personal Injury Lawyers Near You (FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory)
- Shopping Cart Dents, Dings: Is the Store Liable? (FindLaw’s Injured)
- 7 Tips When Suing a Retail Store for Injuries (FindLaw’s Injured)
- Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Injuries (FindLaw’s Injured)