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Goodwill Store Accident Injury Lawyers

Goodwill Store Accident Injury Lawyers compensation lawyer attorney sue

Goodwill is a name that most people recognize all around the world, whether they have shopped in a Goodwill thrift store or received help from one of their community-based programs. The demand for thrift and consignment stores has risen sharply in the last few years, particularly during the COVID epidemic. And there’s no denying that your local Goodwill store is a great place to find bargains on items like clothes, shoes, books, and furniture.

However, you may have noticed that some of these locations are not very clean, nor are the items organized in a neat and orderly fashion. Things strewn on the floor, over packed shelves, unsecured wires and cords, and crowded, dimly lit areas of the store are just some of the issues that make you think “Someone could end up getting hurt in here.”

Most people think of accidents as events that happen to someone else, but it’s very easy to find yourself the victim of a trip and fall, falling merchandise, or another accident that was caused by the store’s negligence. In these situations, it’s essential to learn about your rights, which may include compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. We can help you file a Goodwill store accident claim and fight to bring you the highest possible settlement, so please schedule a free case review by contacting our law firm.

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Types of Accidents that can Cause Injury at a Goodwill Store

Discount and thrift stores are often packed full of items that are practically falling off the racks and shelves. These are conditions that can cause injury to others, but there are many other hazards that can exist at Goodwill store locations. Due to the store’s failure to maintain their premises, you may be injured in one of these accidents:

  • Slip and fall

Falling down from slipping on something is probably the most common source of injury to customers at a store. Slip and fall incidents are especially common in between the aisles and in the bathrooms due liquid spills, improper cleaning techniques, worn or missing flooring, leaking pipes, and poor lighting.

  • Trip and fall

As with slip and falls, these accidents are exceedingly common in retail settings. It’s very easy to walk into something left out on the floor at a Goodwill store or trip over items that you didn’t see because there were things obstructing your view. Insufficient lighting can also lead to a trip and fall accident, whether you are inside or outside of the store.

  • Hit by falling objects

Objects falling from shelves, walls, and ceilings can cause serious injuries, particularly damage to the brain and vulnerable areas of the face (eyes and nose, for example). It’s essential to use proven stacking techniques on shelves and ensure that signs, displays, light fixtures, etc., are secured properly.

  • Assault and battery

All property owners of stores and other commercial premises must have adequate security for guests and visitors. This can include security guards, depending on the type of store, location, and previous history of violent incidents. For the most part, simple measures like security cameras, bright lights, and secure locks on doors will prevent most cases of assault and battery. These events can also be caused by overzealous employees who exercise poor judgement, like a security guard that unnecessarily puts someone in a chokehold.

  • Sexual assault

As with assault and battery incidents, security measures are the key to preventing customers from being sexually assaulted. At a store, this can happen in secluded, dark areas in the parking lot, inside the store bathroom, and dressing / fitting rooms. In many cases, just the presence of surveillance cameras and signs that indicated 24/7 monitoring are enough to deter a sexual predator from being on the property.

  • Accidents in the parking lot

Aside from car crashes, people can also be injured if they are hit by a car as they are walking to and from the store. Failure to resolve hazardous conditions, like potholes, exposed rebar, and oil stains, can also cause injury to an unsuspecting victim. This is also the area where customers are most likely to be mugged or assaulted due to lack of security.

Can I Sue if I Got Hurt at a Goodwill Store?

Yes, you can sue if negligence by Goodwill or one of its employees caused you to be injured while you were at the store. This can mean direct actions, like being assaulted by an employee, but the vast majority of cases are due to carelessness. Typically, workers and managers at the store will fail in their duty to keep the store clean and organized, and this can cause someone to trip on something and fall down. Or, there may be repairs that are not made in a timely manner, and as a result, visitors are exposed to a dangerous condition, like uneven flooring and water from a leaking appliance.

To see if you are eligible for a lawsuit against Goodwill, ask yourself the following:

  • Did a dangerous condition exist on the property?
  • Is the dangerous condition the cause of your accident?
  • Was this a hazard that was known to the store employees and/or owner, or should they have known about it?
  • Were there reasonable actions that the store could have taken to keep you from being injured?

If you found yourself answering “yes” to all these questions, you have the foundation for a premises liability lawsuit. But this is just the beginning when it comes to the legal process for an injury claim, so please reach out to us and talk to a lawyer who can help you sue Goodwill for an accident on their property.

Average Settlement of a Goodwill Store Accident Claim

A personal injury lawsuit against Goodwill is worth $150,000 to $2,500,000 based on the settlements recovered by our attorneys over the past few years. However, there are cases that settle for $20,000 or less, and lawsuits that end in trial verdicts of $10,000,000 or more. This is due to a variety of elements that have to do your injuries, the cause of your accident, and the store’s involvement in causing the incident.

As you may have guessed, injuries play the biggest role in case values, and some of these injuries may be associated with emotional trauma. For example, cases of physical and sexual assault are extremely traumatic, to the point where the victim needs mental health counseling for many years after the event. These cases may be worth anywhere from $100,000 to $5,000,000, and much of it is based on emotional distress and pain and suffering.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to the amount you can receive from an accident claim. For more information on the value of your lawsuit for an accident at a Goodwill store, talk to a member of our legal team.

How Long Do Injury Claims at a Store Take to Settle?

If there are no permanent or severe injuries, it will probably take 4 to 8 months to reach a settlement with Goodwill. For accidents resulting in disability and other extreme injuries, the amount of time to settle a Goodwill injury case may be 8 to 12 months. But these figures are estimates, and there are cases that take 2 or more years due to a number of issues that are beyond our control. For example, if we need to try your case in court, it’s likely that more than 3 years will go by before you receive compensation through a jury verdict. However, we do not anticipate that your case will go to trial, which happens in less than 5% of all personal injury claims against major retailers.

Goodwill Store Accident Injury Lawyers compensation lawyer attorney sue
Statute of Limitations to Sue Goodwill for Negligence

A premises liability lawsuit against a negligent property owner must be filed within 2 years from the day you were injured. For most people, this would be the accident date itself, as most types of injuries are evident right away. But there are cases of delayed injuries that may not be diagnosed for many months, maybe even years. Under these circumstances, you have 1 year from the date of discovering an injury to file an accident claim against Goodwill.

In cases of sexual assault, the amount of time you have for a lawsuit is much longer. Victims who are 18 years or older have 10 years to file a sexual abuse lawsuit, starting from the incident date. If the victim is a minor (under 18), the statute of limitations is 22 years from the age of adulthood, or whenever they turn 40 years old.

Alternatively, those who were sexually abused as children have 5 years to file a lawsuit from the date of discovery. This rule is based on the realization of bodily harm or psychological issues associated with the trauma of sexual abuse. Most children who are sexually assaulted or abused in some other way keep the incident to themselves, and over time, it may seem like they have moved on from the incident. In reality, their feelings of anger, shame, and guilt do not dissipate, and over time it festers into one or more dysfunctions, usually of a psychological nature. A lot of people are unable to see how sexual abuse during childhood is connected to their mental health issues until they are well into adulthood. If they are past the age of 40, the discovery rule provides them with 5 years to file a lawsuit for childhood sexual abuse.

Keep in mind that missing the statute of limitations for a lawsuit will invalidate your right to demand compensation from Goodwill. While there are a few exceptions that may allow the court to give you an extension, most people will not meet the requirements

Contact Our Law Firm

Right now, you may be confused about what to do as you struggle to recover from an unexpected accident or criminal incident. That’s why you should speak to a lawyer right away, who can advise you of your rights and legal options. Our legal team is here to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.

All of our fees are covered by Goodwill and paid as a part of your settlement check. On top of that, we have a Zero Fee Guarantee, so you are never charged out of pocket for the cost of legal fees. In other words, winning your case is the only way we get paid.

For a free consultation with the Goodwill store injury attorneys of DTLA, please contact our office.

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