Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

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Shopping Cart Injury Claims in Burien

Posted Friday, May 19, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, shopping cart injuries send over 20,000 children under 5 to an emergency room every year. Typically, the child fell out of a cart, was caught between two objects, like a shopping cart and a shelf, or the cart overturned and trapped the child. Such incidents often do not seriously injure full-grown adults. But to a child, these incidents could be serious or even life-threatening.

The immediate injury is not the only concern. Many wounds, like broken bones, never entirely heal. If Timmy falls off his bike and breaks his arm, he will probably be fine in a few months. But if a heavy shopping cart laden with groceries overturns on him, his shattered arm might never function normally again.

A Burien personal injury lawyer does more than obtain financial compensation for these injuries. Legal actions also hold grocery stores accountable for the injuries they unintentionally cause. In a perfect world, grocery stores and other retailers would do the right thing before the lawyers got involved. But as everyone can see, we do not live in a perfect world.

*Building a Case*Most shopping cart injury, slip and fall, swimming pool drowning, and other premises liability cases begin with a legal duty of care. This principle is based on the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) that schoolchildren once memorized. If a grocery store owner came over to your house, they would want to feel safe. The owner must extend the same courtesy to visitors.

The nature of the visit, and the victim’s relationship with the owner, determine the exact duty of care, as follows:

* - *Invitee: Most people have permission to visit grocery stores and they benefit the owner economically, even if they do not buy anything. So, the owner has a duty of reasonable care in these situations. Warning people about injury risk is not enough. The owner must address the risk. - Licensee: Very few retail store customers are licensees (permission but no benefit). This label usually applies to social visitors, like a guest of a hotel guest. Since the owner-victim relationship is not as close, the owner only has a duty to warn about latent (hidden) defects. - Trespasser: Kids who joust with shopping carts in parking lots are usually trespassers (no permission and no benefit). Generally, no duty of care applies in these situations. However, if the attractive nuisance rule applies, and it probably does, the owner has a duty of reasonable care.

Additionally, a Burien personal injury lawyer must prove the owner knew about, or should have known about, the injury-causing hazard. In this situation, that probably means knowing about a shopping cart with a broken wheel or a cart that is otherwise unstable.

*Possible Defenses*Comparative negligence, in one form or another, is the most common defense in premises liability claims.

Frequently, insurance company lawyers blame caregivers for not properly watching children in shopping carts. Even if lax supervision contributed to the child’s injury, the victim may still be entitled to compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Many shopping carts have warning signs instructing caregivers to use these carts safely. If the victim, or in this case, the caregiver, saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what the sign meant, the aforementioned comparative negligence division-of-responsibility rules apply.

*Rely on a Savvy King County Attorney*Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Kent, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.