Are Black Friday Injuries Really That Common?
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Louisiana retailers are already slashing prices for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season. Recent polls suggest that about 28% of American adults intend to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
If you’re among the 72.4 million sale-savvy consumers hoping to snag the best deals on November 26, you’ve probably also seen some of the headlines detailing shopping mall stampedes and big box brawls. But how concerned should the average shopper really be about Black Friday injuries?
Black Friday Injury Statistics
In truth, deaths and serious injuries resulting from Black Friday shopping accidents appear relatively rare. As many as 14 deaths and 117 injuries have been reported by the website Black Friday Death Count, which has been tallying Black Friday-related incidents since 2008. Shootings, stabbings, tramplings, assaults, and accidents involving motor vehicles make up the bulk of these incidents.
Considering the millions of shoppers who do manage to safely complete their Black Friday shopping trips every year without incident, the risk of truly catastrophic shopping injuries may be somewhat overstated.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t an increased risk of getting hurt on Black Friday, though. While a massive Wal-Mart stampede might make the front page, a slip and fall in a crowded department store might go unnoticed. For this reason, the real number of Black Friday-related injuries is probably much higher—and more mundane—than most would think.
How to Avoid Black Friday Injuries This Year
The good news? There are many things you can do to avoid the most common injuries during Black Friday. Learn more about how you can keep you and your family safe this year with these tips from the personal injury lawyers at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
Protect Yourself in the Parking Lot
Parking lots can be nearly as hectic as stores themselves between extensive foot traffic, impatient drivers, and competition over scarce parking spaces. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable when going in and out of stores, especially if they’re in a hurry themselves. Even relatively low-speed collisions between cars and pedestrians can lead to broken bones, serious lacerations, concussions, and internal bleeding.
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 aggressive drivers looking for a fight. Arrive early to secure a parking spot, or arrange a ride to come pick you up when you’re done shopping.
Use Caution in Crowds
Large crowds of anxious patrons all trying to push their way into a small entrance can lead to trampling and stampeding. And while crowd crushes aren’t the most common Black Friday injuries, the recent tragedy at Astroworld is a stark reminder of the importance of crowd control in high-capacity venues. Unfortunately, some retailers lack the staffing and training to properly manage a crowd, putting shoppers at risk.
The only surefire way to avoid this risk is to wait out the crowds. If you’re in a large group of shoppers, pay attention to your surroundings, stay calm, and always know where the closest exits are. If you do find yourself stuck in a crowd crush, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping your hands in front of you, firmly planting your feet, waiting for a lull in movement, and then making your way diagonally across the crowd in order to escape. If you get knocked to the ground, protect your head and neck by curling into a ball.
Sidestep Slip and Fall Hazards
When the masses invade shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving, slip and fall accidents are bound to increase. With such high foot traffic, business owners and employees may not notice spills or other hazards that can cause a slip, trip, or fall. Poor maintenance may also lead to Black Friday injuries, from damaged floor tiles to icy sidewalks.
Black Friday or not, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Look where you’re going and remember that other shoppers may not be so observant. Watch out for slick store entrances, especially if there’s any ice, rain, or mud outside that can be tracked in. Also be on the lookout for rogue shopping carts and overloaded product displays, which can tip over and cause injury. If you notice any potential hazards, let a supervisor or manager know right away.
Keep Your Cool Around Other Customers
Unfortunately, the drive to nab the best holiday sale has been known to bring out the worst in consumers, resulting in scores of brawls and assaults each year. 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 fistfights have all been associated with Black Friday aggression. Injuries from these incidents can range from a black eye and a bruised ego to permanent disability and even wrongful death.
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. If an overzealous shopper takes the item you were eyeing, let it go. 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 home on 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 owner, it’s important to understand your legal rights. You may be owed compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, plus pain and suffering.
To claim your free, no obligation consultation, contact Mike Brander Injury Attorneys at one of the numbers below. Our experienced legal team is available by phone or online via LiveChat 24/7. You can also visit one of our conveniently located offices Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contact us today, or fill out this form to request your free case review.
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.