Black Friday is a highly anticipated and exciting day for many Georgians who plan to brave the crowds to get great deals that only come around once a year. Unfortunately, the Friday after Thanksgiving can be dangerous to shoppers as well. There have been numerous stories in the news throughout the years detailing injuries and even deaths as a result of unruly shoppers and situations at retail stores. This year, many retailers are opening their doors and beginning sales on Thanksgiving. This may be an effort to lessen the congestion and dangers associated with the countless shoppers crowding stores on Friday.
In the past, we have detailed the high number of premises liability cases that arise from Black Friday shopping each year. This year, we’d like to provide a list of safety tips for Black Friday shoppers to keep in mind while searching for deals.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. While the sales and happenings around you may be exciting, you should remain alert at all times. This is important both while waiting outside stores and when you are shopping inside. It only takes a moment of distraction for someone to steal your belongings or to knock you to the ground.
- If you must carry a purse, use a cross-body bag or one that will hang close to your body or inside your coat.
- If you see a situation where crowd members are becoming unruly, separate yourself from that area immediately. Each year there are reports of injuries to shoppers after falling or being trampled in unruly crowds. You do not want to be one of those people.
- Keep your cell phone charged and easily accessible on Black Friday. While you shouldn’t allow your mobile devices to consume your attention while shopping, it is good to have a phone on hand to alert authorities in the event of an emergency.
- Travel in a group with family or friends so that you are not shopping alone.
- While transporting purchases to your vehicle, make sure that you aren’t being followed or watched. Have your keys in your hand before arriving at your vehicle so that you are not lingering with purchased goods to look for your keys. It is also smart to store as much merchandise in your vehicle’s trunk as possible so that potential thieves are not further tempted.
- Leave your children at home if possible. If you must bring children with you while Black Friday shopping, make sure they know the plan if you get separated. Assign a central meeting place that they can easily find.
- Research online Black Friday shopping deals. Many Georgians choose to forego crowded retail stores and do their shopping online. Many large retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon will have online deals that compete with in-store bargains.
- If you see an unattended package or bag, alert store employees or law enforcement officials immediately.
Jones & Swanson has experience representing victims of premises liability claims that involve being injured at retail stores due to falls, lack of security, and more. We hope that this year there will be no injuries to Georgia shoppers while Black Friday shopping.
If you are the victim of a Black Friday accident this year, give us a call to discuss your legal needs at (770) 427-5498.