Q My three-year-old daughter was injured when a large toy fell off a shelf in a big "box store." Can I sue the store for her medical treatment?
Before you can decide whether to sue the store, think about these two crucial issues:
- How badly was your child hurt? Although you are concerned whenever you child is hurt, especially when it was someone else’s fault, a lawsuit is not always the best way to fix the situation. Big box stores defend these types of cases very aggressively; after all, they have merchandise falling off shelves onto people all the time. So, to justify the expense of suing the store, an important consideration is that your child must have been seriously injured.
- Can you prove what caused the object to fall? A store is responsible for providing a reasonably safe place for you to shop. It does not have to have eyes everywhere watching every movement. So, there must be evidence that the large toy was incorrectly put on the shelf by an employee or that enough time had passed since the toy was placed in a dangerous position by a customer so that the store should have fixed it.
If there was a serious injury and you have some way of showing that the store should have known of the dangerous placement of the toy, then you need to contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Many retail stores have videos of what is going on in their store aisles and the incident may have been captured on video. The store needs to be told immediately to preserve that important piece of evidence.