When Shopping Carts Attack: Premises Liability and Shopping Cart Accidents
Have you ever watched “The Good Place?” In that series, the main character dies after a row of shopping carts pushes her into the street where she gets hit by a truck. Although the cause of her death is used as a comedic device, the truth of the matter is shopping cart accidents are genuine, and they do cause serious harm. But the question is, who is responsible for your injuries?
Shopping Cart Accident Statistics
The stats might surprise you. More than 24,000 children in shopping carts are injured every year — an average of about 66 a day. The number one injury following a shopping cart accident is a fall from the cart at 70.4 percent, followed by tripping into or falling over a cart, the cart tipping over, and entrapment of extremities such as fingers or legs.
Don’t think a fall from a shopping cart is severe? Think again. According to this news report, 80 percent of those seeking medical attention after a shopping cart incident have a head injury. Other ailments include broken bones, concussions, and even death.
Who is Responsible for the Accident?
Let’s say you’re at the local grocery store doing your usual weekly shopping. While guiding your shopping cart through the aisles, one of the wheels hit a broken tile in the floor. The cart stops, but you keep going, causing you to fall over the cart. You tumble to the ground, hearing a crack as your head bounces off the floor before everything goes black. Now, who is responsible for that?
According to premises liability law, it is the business or commercial property owner’s responsibility to keep the premises safe from injury. But is the owner responsible for the above accident? You were the one pushing the cart, shouldn’t you have seen the broken tile on the floor or stop when the cart got caught?
These are questions that the property owner may use in defense and ones you should prepare to address. As with any personal injury lawsuit, you need to show that the owner was aware of the issue and had failed in his/her duty of care to fix the problem.
In a premises liability case, you need to prove the following:
- The owner was aware of the hazard;
- The owner failed to fix the danger; and
- The owner’s failure to correct the danger had caused your injuries
Now let’s change the scenario. Instead of you injured by a stopped cart, let’s say your child was in the wagon. But, when the carriage stopped suddenly, your child, who was not buckled in, had fallen. Is it still the owner’s responsibility?
That is a trickier scenario. Although the owner had failed in his duty to fix the broken title, you also contributed to the injury by not buckling the child into the cart. In a case like this, the comparative fault law will come into play. The law states if you are found partially at fault for the injuries, your damages will be reduced. A case like this is why you need to speak to an experienced premises liability attorney to see what your options are before pursuing a claim.
How Attorney Anthony Carbone Can Help
For almost 30 years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone have been handling premises liability claims throughout the state of New Jersey. From slip and falls to dog bites, we understand the complexity these cases have and what is needed to get the best outcome for our clients.
If you had an accident on someone else’s property because of negligence, you might have a claim. Contact our office today for a free consultation.