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Stores with huge customer traffic and many shopping carts increase the risk of shopping cart accidents.
Shopping Cart Injury Lawyer - Premises, Product, and Personal Injury Liability
Whether the customers are not careful with their shopping carts or the stores do not have adequate safety measures to prevent shopping car accidents, shopping cart injuries can be frustrating and expensive to treat medically.

Ehline Law and our California personal injury attorneys have the experience and knowledge to pursue your accident claim. We have recovered more than $150 million and can fight on your behalf to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to know your rights as an injured victim.

Causes of Shopping Cart Injuries

Shopping cart accidents can occur at grocery stores, bit box, and major stores, including Costco, Walmart, Target, Aldi, Home Depot, Walgreens, Best Buy, Kroger Co, and Sears.

Regardless of where you are, whether it is a small store or a large one, shopping cart incidents occur under similar circumstances.

The following are some possible causes of shopping cart accidents in California:

  • Defective shopping carts (anti-lock braking system)
  • Carts with considerable wear and tear (Carts can break down)
  • Shoppers’ recklessness (someone in a hurry can hit you with their cart)
  • Stores negligence (poorly maintained parking lot.)

Let’s take one of the possible causes of shopping car accidents and see how it may injure a shopper.

Ben is shopping at his local groceries, and when done, he proceeds with his shopping cart to his car in the parking lot. He doesn’t notice the pothole in the parking lot, and one of his cart’s wheels gets stuck, jolting Ben forward, who falls on the ground face-first, resulting in face and nose injuries.

Shopping carts in some stores have an anti-lock braking system that activates once you enter the store, and depending on the store policy, the cart’s wheels may lock if you bypass the checkout counter or leave the parking lot. These are great in preventing cart theft or even product theft. However, the system can fail, and the brakes can lock automatically, causing the customer to fall and suffer serious injuries.

Types of Shopping Cart Injuries

We’ve gone over the example of Ben. Let’s quickly go over an extensive list of the possible types of injuries involving shopping carts one can suffer:

  • Face and head injuries
  • Ankle and knee injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures, broken bones, and dislocation
  • Hip injuries and herniated discs
  • Bruises, abrasions, and lacerations
  • Strains and sprains
  • Nerve and soft tissue injuries
  • Paralysis.

The injuries’ severity can vary, and depending on the causes, one or multiple parties could be responsible for your accident. Fortunately, injured parties can file a shopping cart injury claim against the responsible party to recover compensation.

Shopping Cart Accident and Applicable Laws

In most cases, shopping cart accidents fall under premise liability law as these often occur on private property. However, there may be other laws that can apply to the accident.

Premises Liability

Under California premises liability law, property owners must ensure that their invitees (customers) and guests are safe from potential hazards. Failing to do so gives the injured victim the right to pursue claims or legal action.

Let’s look at the same example of Ben we discussed earlier. The store knows about the potholes in the parking lot, but to save money on repairs; it decided to do nothing about the poorly maintained tarmac.

The store is negligent in its actions, as a pothole is a potential hazard that can cause accidents and injuries to store customers.

Negligence Law

You may be looking for something in an aisle when a shopper running late for work strikes you with their shopping cart by mistake, causing you injuries. In such situations, you may hold the shopper responsible for the injuries sustained under negligence law.

The shopper is also responsible for their actions, and they have the duty of care to other shoppers in the store. They must take reasonable steps to ensure their actions are not hurting others. There is no excuse for the shopper to hit you with their cart because they’re late for work.

Product Liability Law

Shopping carts with defects or mechanical failure can injure a shopper. If that happens, the shopper may be able to hold the shopping cart manufacturer responsible for the damages under product liability law.

Manufacturers are responsible for adequately testing their products and ensuring their safety before selling them. Failing to do can make them liable for any injuries resulting from using their products.

Speaking to an experienced shopping cart attorney can help victims understand their legal options. At times, multiple parties could be responsible for your injuries.

For example, in the case of a defective cart, an injured victim may also be able to hold the store owner accountable for their injuries if they knew that the cart was defected and avoided replacing it or warning the consumer about it.

In such situations, an experienced attorney can guide you and investigate the incident for further action.

What to Do after Getting Involved in a Shopping Cart Accident?

Shopping carts can harm peopleWhether your accident resulted from the store owner’s negligence, the shopper’s recklessness, or a defective product, the steps you take following the incident are crucial to your personal injury claim.

Here is what you should do following your accident:

  • Gather evidence (snap photos of the floor, the shopping cart, the surrounding area of the accident scene, and your injuries).
  • Take notes of the incident, and write down details such as time and date.
  • Inform the manager or an available employee about your accident.
  • Make sure to file an injury/incident report with the manager and request a copy.
  • Write down the manager’s name and contact details in your notes.
  • Request CCTV or camera footage of the accident.
  • Do not admit to anything or provide the store owner/manager with excessive details about the accident, as they can use it against you when filing claims.
  • Look around for any witnesses that saw the accident take place. Take their name and contact details down, as you may need to provide witness testimony later to prove your case.
  • Head to a hospital for medical evaluation. The sooner you get a diagnosis done, the quicker you’ll be able to start your medical treatment and avoid any further complications. Injuries can be internal or can take time to manifest, so it is crucial to visit a doctor for a medical examination after an accident.
  • Gather medical records, medical bills, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, and any other document you receive from the hospital. Medical evidence is essential in supporting a personal injury case.
  • Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Types of Damages You Can Recover in California

Based on the details of your shopping cart incident, you can pursue different types of damages in your personal injury claim, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life/loss of consortium, and funeral and burial expenses.

In California, courts may also award punitive damages, an additional type of damage that the court awards to punish the negligent party.

After learning about your case, an experienced personal injury attorney will better assess the types of damages you can pursue.

Proving Your Personal Injury Claim: Elements of Negligence

Premises liability also falls under negligence, like product liability and personal injury.

To have a valid personal injury claim, the victim must prove the following four elements of negligence:

  • The property owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  • The property owner breached that duty as they were aware of the potential hazard to the plaintiff yet did not take reasonable measures to ensure their safety.
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries and damages.
  • The property owner’s negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

It is important to note that even if property owners were unaware of the issue, it doesn’t give them a “get out of jail free” card, as they have a legal duty to take reasonable measures to ensure their property is safe.

Property owners must be attentive and careful, and a skilled attorney must prove that they should’ve reasonably known about the hazard if they were cautious.

Personal Injury Claims and California Statute of Limitations

After an accident, you may want to spend some time recovering before filing personal injury claims or pursuing legal action. However, it is crucial to understand that you only have a limited period following your accident before you lose your right to seek compensation.

For premises, product, or personal injury liability, you have two years from when you knew about the injury or should’ve known to recover compensation. Failing to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit within two years will result in losing the right to pursue legal action.

However, there are certain exceptions to the two-year California statute of limitations, which usually involves the plaintiff incapable of filing a lawsuit, including:

  • If the plaintiff is a minor (below 18 years of age)
  • If the plaintiff is mentally incapable
  • If the plaintiff dies
  • If the plaintiff is serving prison time
  • If the plaintiff is in military service.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

Premises liability is challenging to prove as you need the evidence to show that the property owner was aware of the hazard or should’ve been aware of the danger if they were reasonably attentive. However, at Ehline Law firm, our personal injury attorneys have successfully handled over 3,000 personal injury cases, ensuring our injured clients get the justice they deserve through a strong attorney-client relationship.

If you suffered a shopping cart accident that was not your fault, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation on your case with our shopping cart injury lawyer. Our attorneys offer free legal services and a zero-fee guarantee if we don’t win your case.

Devastating injuries can turn your life around, causing emotional distress and serious financial problems. Let us stand by your side, protect your rights, and fight for your compensation so that you can move on with your life. Contact us now or visit our Los Angeles office to seek legal assistance for your serious injury.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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