The shops and malls of Las Vegas are jam-packed this time of year with holiday shoppers. Whether they began shopping back on “Black Friday” or whether they’re still searching for that perfect holiday gift, when people are doing their shopping what they’re hoping to find are good deals. What some may be unpleasantly surprised to experience, however, is a shopping-related injury. These injuries do happen, however, so it is important to understand what stores must do to keep patrons safe.

For example, stores must make sure floors aren’t wet, that the carpeting isn’t torn and bunched up and that their premises are adequately lit. Any of these conditions could lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Displays must be secure and items within easy reach. Falling objects could hit someone on the head, causing an injury. Finally, if a store is expecting big crowds, proper crowd security measures must be taken to avoid people being trampled.

In the end, what it comes down to is that store owners must exercise due care to ensure that the property is reasonably free from any hazardous or hidden conditions that could lead to a shopper being injured. If they do not do so, and a shopper is injured, the shopper may be able to pursue a personal injury claim based on premises liability. To prevail in such a claim, in general it must be shown that the store owner either had or should have had knowledge that there was a hazard on their premises, that the store owner did not perform regular inspections of the premises for hazards or adequately remedy a known hazard, that the shopper would not have been harmed but for the hazard on the premises, there was a connection between the hazard and the shopper’s injury, and that the shopper incurred actual damages due to the injury.

So, while people of course need to take care when shopping in bustling stores, store owners have a duty of reasonable care towards shoppers. No one wants their holiday season marred by a shopping-related injury. Therefore, it is important that if you do suffer an injury while shopping this holiday season, that you understand your legal rights and options.