The busiest shopping period of the year is beginning and despite many who will go online to buy, once again, people will be packing the high street, city centres and main retail parks trying to avoid tripping up, knocking their shins and scraping elbows.
It’s hardly surprising that personal injury solicitors can see a sudden explosion of accident claims during the holiday season. When pedestrians crowd onto narrow pavements, the ever present dangers of uneven or broken paving and kerbstones are joined by the obstruction by sign boards, litter bins, sign posts and bus shelters.
In many of the UK’s large capitals, such as London, Liverpool, Manchester or Leeds, ongoing high street development or other building work refurbishment can often mean a narrowing of available space to walk. It might mean shoppers can also barge into warning signs, trip up on temporary ramps, protruding shop fittings, scaffolding or even bang their head on an overhanging sign.
Once inside a retail shopping unit, whether a large department store or a high street chain, floor space may be reduced by dump bins piled high with seasonal goods or large products sited just inside the doorway or on aisle corners. Often goods stacked high on shelves have been disturbed by much handling and can suddenly fall and cause a serious injury, most likely to the head or face.
Despite the belief that we live in an overly health and safety conscious culture, the seasonal shopping rush can still be an accident waiting to happen on the high street or in the shopping mall. Premises owners and local authorities are responsible to ensure the safety of the public.
Suffering a knock, glancing blow or tripping up may often be a very minor incident, which does not lead to a more serious injury beyond a light scuff. For the elderly, very young children, and the disabled, there’s every possibility of more serious injuries, such as skin grazes, cuts and bruising. In some instances, medical conditions such as asthma, epilepsy or a heart attack may be triggered.
When an accident does unfortunately take place, it is therefore crucial to make a detailed note of all relevant details as well as the date, time and place. Recording the incident by taking pics with a mobile phone plus the names of independent witnesses are also very important in any claims process.