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By Farhan Naqvi, Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas

The Friday after Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the Christmas shopping season. Because it is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, retailers refer to it as “Black Friday” because it can be a big factor in finishing the fiscal year “in the black.” However, it can also describe your feelings if you get injured while shopping on Black Friday.

Because many retailers in and around Las Vegas like to hold incredibly attractive sales events on Black Friday and open their doors early in the morning to shoppers, situations arise where eager patrons can sometimes become overzealous and cause injuries to others. In the past, many of these injuries have been serious and some have been deadly. So here are some tips for avoiding shopping injuries on Black Friday:

  • Don’t go to the stores, shop online. Many great deals can be found online at the retailers’ websites (and some of the bargains are the same as the ones you would find inside the stores). So grab your mouse and fill up your virtual shopping cart in the comfort of your home – where you won’t be bothered by other shoppers.
  • Go to the stores later in the day. Most of the attractive prices are available throughout Black Friday – and the crowds are less likely to be as aggressive as they could be at the moment the store’s doors open.
  • Call ahead. If you need to be one of the first people at a store in order to purchase a specific sale item, call the store ahead of time and ask if they will be issuing line numbers or employing a similar strategy in order to avoid a dangerous first-come, first-serve rush to the counters. If not, suggest to the store’s manager that doing so could prevent shopping injuries – and the probable personal injury lawsuits that would follow.
  • Wear good shoes. If you have to be one of the first people through the door of a retailer, make sure your footwear doesn’t betray you. Don’t wear heels or other shoes that may compromise your balance. Your shoes should provide traction and stability that can keep you upright if you are jostled or pushed.
  • Avoid being in the center of a crowd. If possible, position yourself on or near the outside of a mass of people rather than in the middle. Crowds have a way of taking on a life of their own and reducing your ability to escape.
  • Do not push or shove other shoppers. In the heat of the moment, one of them might retaliate and knock you off of your feet.
  • Look for displays, shelves, or walls. If you start to stumble when a crowd pushes forward in a store, use anything nearby to keep your balance – even if it means stopping your own momentum to do so.
  • If you do fall to the ground, do everything you can to slide, crawl, or roll out of the rush of people to avoid being trampled.
  • If you find yourself on the floor injured or unable escape a crowd, curl up into a ball to minimize the risk of injury – and yell or scream loudly so store personnel and other shoppers know you are there and can either assist you or avoid running over you. 

Holiday bargains are great, but they’re not worth getting hurt over. So exercise caution to avoid shopping injuries this Black Friday!

About the Editor: Farhan R. Naqvi is a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who has experience representing victims injured in car accidents, drunk driver crashes, truck wrecks, slip and falls, taxi cab accidents, and bicycle crashes. He also has experience handling spine injury, product liability, underinsured/uninsured driver, and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident in Summerlin, North Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Boulder City, Green Valley, or Pahrump, give Farhan a call at 702-553-1000 for a free, no-hassle consultation.