This week, many people will be taking advantage of Black Friday sales or will be working on their holiday shopping list. This can mean busier stores and (unfortunately) busier fraudsters. It can also mean more injuries in crowded stores and parking lots. Here’s how to stay safe while having a happy holiday:
- Consider shopping online. Shopping online lets you avoid crowded stores and parking lots. On the busiest days of the year, like Black Friday, crowds in stores can lead to trip and fall injuries as well as crushing injuries.
- Practice good online shopping habits. When you shop online, always shop from reputable retailers and check that the website you’re using is encrypted and secure. Always check your credit card statements against your receipts, to make sure you don’t have unexpected charges.
- If you’re shopping in person, avoid the busiest shopping times. If there is an in-store bargain you really want, try to get to the store during less-busy times. Find out if the store will hold an item or whether a specific sale is on all week—this can mean you can avoid “doorcrasher” moments when customers can get aggressive.
- Wear practical clothes. If you’re shopping during busier times, wear sturdy shoes with good treads and clothes that allow for good mobility. Make sure your wallet is stored securely next to your body, where thieves can’t easily pickpocket your cards and cash.
- Go with a group. It can be safer to shop with a group. You can look out for each other or even split up a shopping list, so you can get out of a crowded store sooner. Agree to meet at a specific spot and time after your shopping excursion to make sure everyone is accounted for.
- Have a plan. Have a list and a plan of where in the store you’re headed first. This helps you get in and out in the most direct route possible, and can help you avoid dense crowds.
- Know a store’s safety policies. Stores are expected to take reasonable precautions to keep shoppers safe. This may mean hiring security guards or limiting the number of people inside the store at any time. Find out what a store’s policies are before you shop so you understand your options. If you’re in an unsafe situation, for example, knowing where the security guards are in a store can mean you get help faster.
- Park safely. Parking lots can be crowded. Always look for clearly designated parking spaces that are well-lit and close to stores, if possible. Avoid parking near large tractor trailer trucks, as these have many blind spots and can be hard to see around. When driving in a parking lot during the holidays, be prepared for the unexpected. There may be more pedestrians (including children) you will want to watch out for.
Put safety first, and great deals second. There will always be more bargains, and suffering a serious injury can easily cost much more than any savings you manage to get during a great sale.
Ultimately, it is a store’s responsibility to make sure customers are kept safe. When stores fail to do so and you’re injured, you may have a claim. To find out, you can always call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation if you’ve been injured. Our legal team has more than 60 years of combined experience. We can help you understand whether you have a premises liability claim or another legal claim in your situation.