Shopping malls are chaotic places all year round, but during the weeks leading up to Christmas, The Mall at Bay Plaza and other locations are packed with holiday shoppers, increasing the risk of injury. Black Friday is especially notorious for causing injury and even death when too many bargain hunters converge on the same location to take advantage of rock-bottom prices.

This doesn’t mean that you should lie low and order all your holiday gifts online (although that is certainly an option). The right precautions can help ensure a safer shopping experience even when the crowd density is at an all-time high.

Start shopping as early as possible

Many people put off shopping for presents until the last minute, which is why the malls are nearly impenetrable in the days leading up to December 25. This hectic mindset can also lead to distracted driving, aggressive conduct in the stores, and other reckless behavior that can lead to a dangerous situation. Try to have most of your shopping done by the first week in December and, if necessary, order the rest of your presents online.

Shop during off-peak hours

When malls are at peak capacity, trip or slip and fall hazards abound. They include:

  • Unmopped spills and melted snow
  • Bunched-up rugs
  • Toppled displays

During the noon hour, evenings, and weekends during December, staff and mall maintenance are usually so busy that they don’t notice or can’t attend to a dangerous situation in time. If possible, do your shopping outside of these time periods. When you’re not being jostled about, you’re more likely to notice spilled beverages, broken glass from a fallen display, and other hazards before you can be harmed by them.

Don’t shop alone with the kids

Holiday shopping is stressful enough without having to watch small children who might disappear into a toy store or run off while you’re in a long line-up at the cash register. Being naturally curious and fearless, it is easy for a child to become seriously injured in a crowded mall.

If leaving the kids at home while you shop isn’t feasible, then hold off all trips to the mall until their other parent or a family friend can join you. They can keep an eye on your excited young ones and keep them away from potential dangers while you finish your holiday purchases.

Sometimes accidents occur despite your best efforts to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. If a shopping mall fails to take reasonable precautions to eliminate dangerous conditions in its food court, stores, and parking lot and you are injured as a result, then a New York personal injury attorney can see to it that you pursue the compensation needed to cover your losses and recover.

If you were injured, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.