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When can shopping be hazardous to your health?

Despite the increasing popularity of online shopping, most of us find ourselves in some sort of store at least once a week -- whether to buy clothing, electronics, toys or groceries.

Fortunately, most shopping-related injuries are relatively minor. However, they can still cause long-term pain and even potentially keep you out of work while you recover.

The following are among the most common shopping-related injuries:

-- Slips, trips and falls: These often happen due to wet floors or a rug or carpet that's torn or uneven. More serious falls can occur on escalators.-- Falling objects: When displays are piled high and in an unstable manner, they can come crashing down, causing serious injuries to the head and other parts of the body. If you see something you want on a high shelf, ask for help. Don't try standing on a lower shelf to get it. You don't know how secure the shelving or display case is.-- Parking lot and walkway injuries: These are commonly the result of ice and snow or unrepaired holes or cracks.-- Trampling: We've all seen the unfortunate footage of people rushing into stores on Black Friday or when a hot new product hits the market. Shoppers can and do get seriously injured.

While store and shopping center owners can't guarantee that their properties are always completely hazard-free, they have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe and well-maintained. This includes cleaning up spills, fixing tripping hazards, having proper security and lighting and keeping outdoor areas as free from weather-related hazards like ice as is possible.

If you believe that a store knew about a potential hazard and did nothing to correct the situation, or failed to keep the premises free from hazards, you may be able to hold the owner, manager or others civilly liable under the premises liability laws of Colorado for injuries and other damages you suffered.

Source: FindLaw, "Shopping Injuries Overview," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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