Injured during holiday shopping? Can I sue the store for falling merchandise that causes my injuries?

Dec 1, 2023

We all have seen it.  You’re at your favorite “Big Box” store shopping for holiday lights or lawn ornaments and suddenly you look up and a box falls and hits you in the head and your knocked to the ground in pain.  Does the “Big Box” store have any duty to you, the customer, to provide a safe environment on their premises?  We explore this issue below:

Yes, you may have the right to sue a store if something falls off a shelf and injures you in Illinois. In legal terms, this situation falls under premises liability, which holds property owners or those in control of a property responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize your health and seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Not only is this crucial for your well-being, but it also creates a record of your injuries, which can be important for any legal claims.
  2. Report the Incident: Report the incident to the store management as soon as possible. Ensure that they document the incident and request a copy of any incident report that is filed.
  3. Gather Evidence: Document the scene of the incident. Take photographs of the area, the item that fell, and any relevant signage or warnings. Collect names and contact information of any witnesses.
  4. Preserve Evidence: If possible, preserve any evidence related to the incident. This could include the item that fell or any other relevant objects that may help establish liability.
  5. Obtain a Copy of the Incident Report: Request a copy of the incident report filed by the store. This document may contain important details about the store’s perspective on the incident.
  6. Consult with an Attorney: Contact a personal injury attorney in Illinois who specializes in premises liability cases. They can evaluate the specifics of your case, determine liability, and guide you on the appropriate legal steps.  Don’t talk to the store’s Insurance Company or its representatives until you seek advice from an experienced Lawyer!
  7. Determine Negligence: Your attorney will help you establish whether the store was negligent in maintaining a safe environment. This may involve showing that the store knew or should have known about the dangerous condition (such as improperly stacked items) and failed to address it.
  8. Consider Damages: Your attorney will help you assess the damages you’ve suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other related losses.
  9. File a Lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations with the store or its insurance company, your attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Keep in mind that laws can vary, and the specific details of your case will be crucial. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is essential to understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and pursue appropriate legal action.



    About Coffman Law Offices, P.C.

    Coffman Law is Chicago’s leading personal injury law firm and is committed to providing superb legal representation for people who are suffering from severe personal injuries or are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to negligence or misconduct. Coffman Law is results-driven law firm focused on ensuring that clients receive the compassion, attention, and consideration that they need to seek adequate compensation for injuries or loss. The firm is led by Owner and Founding Partner Brian Coffman, who has dedicated his career to helping accident victims navigate the legal system and obtain compensation for their injuries.