Woman looking at a blue blouse in shopping center

Injuries in Shopping Centers: What They Mean for Your Business

Shopping centers—aren’t they supposed to be a happy place? Sadly, accidents happen in these facilities more frequently than you think. In 2016, retail workers were more likely to suffer an injury than construction workers. Most of them experience musculoskeletal disorders due to back-breaking jobs and repetitive movements.

Some of them, though, develop injuries from falling, slipping, and tripping. This is one of the top three causes of workplace injuries in the retail industry. That’s not all. It’s not only employees who are at risk. So are customers. They can slip on the floor or trip on a pavement crack, for example.

You have to pay attention to these risks, especially if you’re a store owner. The consequences of your negligence can be severe.

What Happens If You Become Negligent?

If your pavement’s cracked, opt for concrete repair in Kansas City ASAP. If a milk bottle falls to the ground, get someone to clean up the mess quickly. For many people who develop injuries in-store, no accident can be minor, and it can be costly for you.

This is because they can file a personal injury lawsuit against your business. Although it is not a criminal case, you still need to pay for damages if the other party wins.

These damages often fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Under economic damages, the plaintiff can claim compensation for medical care, disability, or even loss of income or job.

Non-economic damages can refer to the monetary value of suffering, sleepless nights, and anxiety brought upon by the accident. These can be worth thousands of dollars.

Granted, not all accidents will be worth a personal injury claim. Kansas, for instance, is one of the states that follow comparative negligence. In this process, the court tries to evaluate the plaintiff’s participation in their injury.

Here’s an example. A mother slipped on the floor after trying to run after her child. That’s not your store’s fault. The story changes, though, if boxes on the uppermost parts of the shelves begin crashing down while trying to steady herself. Now, you can be liable as you must have found a way to secure these boxes.

In Kansas, a plaintiff can claim personal injury compensation if the percentage of their participation is 49% or less. Furthermore, just because someone didn’t complain about the accident immediately doesn’t mean you are no longer liable.

Anyone who feels aggrieved can file for a claim within the statutory limits. In Kansas, that’s one year since the accident.

Lost Productivity and Bad Reputation

Female legs with shopping bags

Money isn’t your only concern in an in-store injury. So are lost productivity and bad company image. The 2018 BLS report revealed that over 900,000 illnesses and injuries lead to an employee missing out at least one working day.

Injuries can happen anytime, anywhere. The problem is many of these are preventable. As a business, you can avoid the hassle of facing personal injury lawsuits and take care of your employees and customers. You can begin by reducing the chances of slips, falls, trips, and other types of accidents.