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Are you at risk of Black Friday injuries?

The country may be divided into two sections — those who can't wait to dash out into the madness of Black Friday to snatch up incredible deals and those who snuggle up on the couch in their pajamas and shake their heads at such folly.

But if you will be one of the maddening hordes scrambling for savings, you should be aware of the liabilities that Black Friday shoppers face.

Figures from 2016 indicate an uptick in the number of deaths and injuries suffered by shoppers and the retail professionals tasked with maintaining order amid the chaos. That year saw two fatalities and four serious injuries in the holiday shopping frenzy. Prior to 2016, there had been no fatalities on Black Friday for three years.

There is no question that Black Friday is a vital day for retailers in the United States. It is allegedly referred to by that nickname because the day became known as the tipping point when retailers finally began to turn a profit for the year. Being "in the black" was traditionally noted in black ink in accounting logs as opposed to the red ink used to show companies were still operating at a loss.

But the biggest shopping day of the year has in the past been marred by shopper injuries and even deaths.

Some fell victim to violence from other shoppers, including gunshot wounds and stabbings. Still others died while being trampled by other shoppers in a rush to get at the heavily discounted items.

The shop owners have a duty to their customers to secure their premises and keep the area safe. That means hiring additional security forces to police the stores and parking lots and restore order when chaotic conditions render the premises unsafe.

It also means securing large items to make sure that heavy TVs and sports equipment can't tumble from overhead shelves onto the shoppers below.

If you or a family member get injured this Black Friday at a local retail outlet, you may be eligible for financial compensation by filing a premises liability lawsuit against the negligent parties.

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Ewing & Willis
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