4 Black Friday Injuries & How to Avoid Them
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, Louisiana retailers are preparing to slash their prices for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season. And although holiday spending is expected to drop this year, the number of shoppers out and about on Black Friday is expected to increase by 12%.
If you’re among the millions of sale-savvy consumers making plans to snag the best deals on November 29, you’ve probably seen the headlines about shopping mall stampedes and big box brawls. Stay safe this year by learning more about the most common Black Friday injuries and how to avoid them from the personal injury lawyers at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
Parking Lot Panic
Parking lots can be nearly as hectic as the stores themselves between excessive foot traffic, impatient drivers, and competition over scarce parking spaces. Pedestrians are particularly at risk for injury. Careless or reckless drivers may strike shoppers going in and out of stores, leading to concussions, broken bones, and, in severe cases, internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
How to Avoid It: If you want to steer clear of these Black Friday injuries, be extra cautious when making your way through the parking lot. Look both ways before crossing the street, and watch out for vehicles pulling into or out of parking spaces. Drivers should slow down, yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and avoid engaging with other irate drivers looking for a fight. Plan on arriving early so that you have time to find a spot sans drama.
Large crowds of anxious patrons trampling one another when the doors first open are one of the most notorious causes of Black Friday injuries and deaths. Injuries stemming from stampedes can include crush injuries, skull, neck, and spinal fractures, and significant damage to internal organs. The higher the density of people in the crowd, the more likely trampling is to occur.
How to Avoid It: The simplest way to avoid trampling injuries this holiday is to wait out the crowds. There is no way to predict or even prevent the mass panic that may ensue when a large group of people are all moving towards the same focal point. If you do find yourself stuck in a crowd that shows signs of stampeding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping your hands in front of you, waiting for a lull in movement, and slowly making your way diagonally across the crowd to escape.
Falls, Slips, and Trips
Every day, thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents. When the masses invade shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving, the number of Black Friday injuries is bound to increase. With such high foot traffic, business owners and employees may not notice spills or other hazards that can lead to a slip and fall. Poor maintenance can also lead to injury, from damaged floor tiles to icy sidewalks.
How to Avoid It: Slow down! It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, whether it’s Black Friday or not. Look where you’re going and realize that other shoppers may not be so observant. Watch out for slick store entrances, especially if there’s any snow, ice, rain, or mud outside that can be tracked in. Also be on the lookout for rogue shopping carts and precarious displays. If you notice any potential hazards, always let an employee know right away.
Unfortunately, the drive to nab the best holiday sale has been known to bring out the worst in consumers, resulting in scores of yearly Black Friday injuries. Retailers may encourage an atmosphere of scarcity that results in desperate shoppers willing to do anything to get that flat-screen TV, even if it means wrestling it out of someone else’s hands. Shootings, stabbings, and good old-fashioned fistfights are all associated with Black Friday aggression. Injuries from these incidents can range from a black eye and a bruised ego to permanent disability and death.
How to Avoid It: Steer clear of other shoppers looking for a fight. Avoid pushing, shoving, or jostling to get to the front of the line. Remember, no purchase is worth going to jail or losing your life over. Worst case scenario, if an overzealous shopper takes the item you were eyeing, you can always check with an employee to find out if you can special order it. Or better yet, shop the deals from the safety of your own home come Cyber Monday.
What to Do If You’re Injured On Black Friday
If you have suffered from Black Friday injuries in New Orleans due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, shopper, or business, it’s important to understand your rights. You may be eligible for compensation depending on the circumstances and severity of your injuries.
To find out more, contact the personal injury lawyers at Mike Brander Injury Attorneys. Our professional and caring legal team is available by phone every day of the week at 504-345-1111. You can also visit one of our conveniently located offices Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., chat with a representative online, or submit a free case evaluation anytime. Contact us today for your free consultation.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.