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What If I'm Injured on Black Friday?
ELI5: Negligence

Black Friday is often seen as the holiday that marks the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s also a holiday where people can sustain some serious injuries. In fact, each year there are new stories of customers assaulting each other, trampling on customer service agents, and being forcefully escorted out of Targets across America. If you’re going shopping this Black Friday, it’s important to avoid injuring yourself or others. After all, you do not want to be known as the person who had to be removed from Walmart.

What Are Your Circumstances?

Whether or not you can actually sue for injuries resulting from a Black Friday mishap is going to depend on what the circumstances of the incident are. For example, if you were trampled at Walmart, your options regarding litigation are going to be different than if you were physically assaulted outside the Macy’s in the mall. Your ability to file a personal injury claim may also depend on whether or not you were at work when you sustained the injury. It isn’t uncommon for a lawsuit to name several parties and, in Utah, multiple parties are able to share fault. So, depending on the incident, you may be able to file a claim against multiple parties.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a legal concept that states that a property owner is responsible for keeping their property safe for guests and implied invitees. Premises liability applies to both commercial and residential properties. So Target could be liable for your Black Friday injuries if they didn’t keep their property safe and their negligence caused your injuries. If Target fails to limit the amount of customers in their store, and this causes you to be trampled, Target may be liable for your injuries. This is because Target knows, or reasonably should know, that there will be a lot of people visiting their store on Black Friday looking for those sweet, sweet deals. Therefore, they need to make sure that there aren’t too many people in their store at one time since having more than the maximum capacity can be a safety hazard.

Worker’s Compensation Fund

If you work retail on Black Friday, and you become injured in the course of your employment, or at the place of your employment,  you may be eligible for compensation through a worker’s compensation fund claim. However, you cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer. If you are injured at work, or while you’re working, regardless of fault, you will have to file a worker’s compensation claim in order to get compensation for your injuries. But, if a third party’s negligence causes you to become injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Let’s say you work at Walmart and, for the sake of this example, let’s say Walmart hires a third party company to wax their floors. Well, while working, say you slip and fall on those floors. You’ll be able to file a worker’s compensation claim against Walmart. But you may also have a personal injury claim against the third party company who waxed the floors.

Suing Another Customer

Who’s liable for fisticuffs on black friday? Well, it all depends on the fist fight. Unlike your mother, we actually do care who started it. If you start a fist fight, you’re much more likely to be liable for the other party’s injuries. But if you escalate a fight that you didn’t start, you too could be liable for the other party’s injuries. Remember when we said multiple parties can share fault? Well, the plaintiff can actually have some fault in their own injury. So if it’s decided that they were 10% at fault, their settlement could be reduced by 10%. If some guy starts a fist fight over the 98” plasma screen TV, and you pull out a nerf gun and seriously injure him by shooting him in the eye with the nerf gun, which causes him to seriously injure you, you might end up having some liability. If someone accosts you because you made it to the Playstation before them, it’s probably worth it to just let them have the Playstation and maybe reconsider the Xbox.

Consider Cyber Monday

At Moxie Law Group, we don’t want to see any injuries happen. With the sales, the holiday stress, the good food, and the time spent with your extended family (and in-laws, yikes), we can certainly understand how some people may feel the need to act violently in a Walgreens. However, we kindly ask all Black Friday shoppers to consider keeping all hands and feet to themselves. If this seems to be too big of an ask, it may be best to consider waiting until Cyber Monday to cash in on the savings. If you’ve been injured during Black Friday, and you need an experienced legal team, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free consultation.