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Tennessee shoppers: Watch your step

You set out for a day of fun with that bonus money in your pocket and head toward to your favorite Tennessee mall. There are some things you’ve put off getting, but today’s the day to make your purchases.

You walk through the mall, happily heading toward the entrance to the store of your choice, and your legs come out from under you. You feel yourself falling and put out your arm to brace your fall. You wind up on the ground, your arm in terrible pain.

Yes, it’s broken. You didn’t see the puddle on the floor ahead of you, the result of a leaky roof apparently. There’s no staff there to wipe up the water and none of those yellow triangular signs to warn you of the hazard ahead.

Incidents such as this happen at shopping centers and malls quite frequently, actually. They are the result of the failure of owners or management to address either routine or emergency issues to keep the area safe, or to warn shoppers and workers of hazards.

Shopping injuries can range from minor to serious, including death. While the rate of injuries increases around major holidays or events – think Black Friday – they can happen any time of year. The injuries can include sprains, head injuries, broken bones and even neck and spinal injuries.

These injuries may result from things such as overcrowding, shopping carts tipping over, objects falling from shelves or pallets, falling because of wet floors, poor lighting or torn carpeting.

Store owners are required to exercise care to make sure the premises are free of dangerous or hazardous conditions. For instance, stores must fix broken stairs or railings, replace burnt-out bulbs, quickly clean up spills and provide security for clients.

If you have been injured in a shopping accident, it would be wise to visit a Tennessee attorney experienced in premises liability to discuss how to recoup your losses, such as medical expenses. Property owners need to be held accountable for their negligence.

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