Many people go to home improvement stores or local hardware stores for supplies and equipment to aid them around the house and yard. Normally, you expect that the trip would be uneventful and you'll be able to leave with the tools or materials you need for your project. However, it's important to be extremely cautious about safety when you visit a hardware store or home improvement store - the hazards and dangerous conditions inherent in these stores can create accidents that result in severe, debilitating and traumatic injuries.
Dangerous Conditions at Home Improvement & Hardware Stores that Can Cause Injuries
Many types of home improvement store accidents can occur due to unsafe conditions - heavy and dangerous materials are often stacked high to the ceilings and tools that can cause fatality are out in the open. Other common conditions leading to accidents can include:
- Forklift accidents
- Shelving collapses
- Improperly stacked shelves
- Slippery or slick floors leading to slip and falls
- Trip and falls caused by flooring defects or holes
- Poor lighting
- Sharp and jagged edges on materials or shelving
- Defective shopping carts
- Defective escalators
- Failure to erect barriers
Depending on how the accident occurred, home improvement or hardware store accident injuries may range from minor to severe. Injuries can include crush injuries, lacerations, fractures, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, concussions, nerve damage, paralysis, disfigurement, and even fatality.
Liability for Home Improvement & Hardware Store Injuries
The owners, managers, and employees of a home improvement store have a duty to ensure that the premises are safe for customers. If you were injured while shopping at a home improvement or hardware store, the store may be held liable for your damages under the theory of premises liability if it is found that they were negligent, careless, or reckless. This means that the store - or an employee, manager, or another agent - created the dangerous condition or (1) knew about the dangerous condition and (2) failed to warn about it or (3) failed to remedy it within a reasonable amount of time.
If you were injured while using a defective tool or material while using it at home, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries under another legal theory, depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, if the manufacturer sold a product and (1) failed to warn about its danger or (2) knew there was a design or manufacturing defect that could cause injury and (3) the defect directly caused your injury, you may be able to sue under the theory of products liability. In certain instances, a store may also be liable if they knew of the danger and proceeded to sell the product.
Recoverable Damages for Home Improvement & Hardware Store Injuries
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your accident, you may be able to recover damages for your home improvement and hardware store injuries in a personal injury action. If the store was found to be negligent, a court may award medical expenses and future medical expenses for treatment such as hospital stays, office visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and testing. You may also be entitled to lost wages if you missed time from work as a result of your injuries.
In addition, you may be able to recover non-economic damages for hardware store or home improvement store injuries including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages if the store's conduct was particularly egregious. If you lost a loved one due to home improvement store negligence, you may be able to recover damages for wrongful death.
Contact an Experienced Home Improvement and Hardware Store Accident Attorney
Home improvement store and hardware store negligence cases can be complex. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a home improvement store or hardware store accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you of your legal rights. An experienced personal injury attorney who handles premises liability cases can also help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.
The Popick Law Firm has thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of home improvement store negligence and hardware store accidents. Located in Flushing, Queens, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury and premises liability cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact the Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.