The countdown to the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, which will roll us right into Christmas festivities, and then, before we know it, we will be yelling “Happy New Year” hanging up our 2014 calendars.

You’ve likely noticed that in a rush to get the edge on the money to be made from Black Friday shoppers, many popular retailers have moved up their opening hours so that the purchasing frenzy actually can begin on Thanksgiving itself. Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, Kohl’s, and many other popular chains have announced their Thanksgiving Day hours.
So, while still under the weight of the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and fighting off the influence of tryptophan, men, women, and children will gather outside locked doors waiting for their favorite stores to open and for the deals to commence. For many, this event has become a family tradition, and there is no doubt that there are some fantastic bargains to be had. But it seems in recent years that this shopping phenomenon also comes with an increased risk of bodily injury.

Parents fighting over valued toys at Christmas is nothing new. I may be giving my age away, but who remembers the frenzy over finding Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983? Some stores just decided to stop selling the dolls altogether to avoid violence. Now such aggressive shopping is becoming commonplace. Every year it seems like we hear more stories about people getting trampled at doorways or shoved in the electronics aisle. There have also been past reports of assault and battery among customers.

Stores that offer these great holiday sales need to take precautions in preparing for large groups of people. Extra security should be hired. Displays should be set up so that a huge mass of people is not pushing forward to retrieve items that are difficult to reach. Checkout lines should be clearly roped off. When these things don’t happen, problems will.
Perhaps you plan to go shopping with your family over the Thanksgiving weekend to spend time together and hopefully find some bargains. I know I will.  My two daughters are looking forward to it.  But if you are injured upon getting caught up in the poor behavior of others, you deserve compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. Both the individuals who trampled or elbowed or shoved as well as the stores who did not have an adequate safety plan in place should be held accountable. Let us know what we can do for you.

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