Costco has become a phenomenon of our time. The very mention of the store’s name will make people smile and declare, “I love Costco!”
One of the main distinctions of a warehouse-club like Costco is that they require patrons of their store to be “members.” If you are not a member (or the guest of a member), you will not be allowed to make store purchases.
In exchange for a paid annual membership, Costco shoppers receive access to a variety of individual and bulk-style products at competitive prices.
As of 2019, there were 539 Costco locations in the United States, with 7 locations throughout Indiana:
- Fort Wayne
- Indianapolis (Fortune Park)
- South Indianapolis (Greenwood)
However, despite its many fans and claimed advantages, Boulton Law Group has also received calls from Indiana Costco members who were injured while shopping at one of the warehouse giant’s locations.
The majority of lawsuits filed against Costco arise in the form of Indiana premises liability or slip and fall cases.
Depending on the cause and severity of a shopper’s injuries, it is possible that Costco can be held liable for a victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Common causes of accidents and injuries at Costco
Due to its unique set-up, we have identified five factors that may contribute to an increased risk of injury while shopping at a Costco:
One of Costco’s distinguishing features is its oversized aisles, concessions area, and industrial-styled interior.
Instead of traditional shelving and displays, Costco favors stacking the majority of its goods on pallets throughout the store’s main floor and many aisles.
This type of physical layout is an advantage for Costco in terms of storing inventory, however, it also has the potential to be an increased risk for shoppers if items are improperly stacked or the bracket-style shelving is poorly maintained.
Costco employees make regular use of forklifts, pallet jacks, and other heavy equipment to stock, remove, and reorganize store inventory.
The use of heavy equipment in a busy retail environment can present an increased risk to shoppers if it is used negligently or outside the store’s standard operating procedures.
In addition to bulk-sized groceries, accessories, Costco also stocks its aisles with electronics, automotive supplies, appliances, and more.
The larger the good or product, the greater the risk to a shopper in the event of falling items or improperly stacked goods.
Costco offers its shoppers a concession area that serves food and drinks.
Unfortunately, there can be a heightened risk to shoppers in this area of the store, as there is an increased chance of spills that lead to slip and falls.
And while Costco cannot be expected to prevent every drink or food spill, they do have a duty to ensure the area is clean and reasonably safe for its shoppers.
Large crowds of shoppers
If you have ever visited a Costco, there is one constant that you know to expect: No matter the day or time of the week, Costco’s stores are crowded.
The store’s large number of patrons can present unique challenges for Costco’s employees, such as ensuring hazards like “concession area spills” are quickly cleaned up.
Ultimately, the combination of large crowds and Costco’s unique approach to operations has the potential to create a dangerous environment.
In addition to the general environmental factors listed above, Boulton Law Group has also received calls from Costco shoppers who were injured due to:
- Inadequate lighting
- Slippery floor surfaces
- Poor parking lot conditions
- Improper maintenance of store property and/or fixtures
Common injuries that can occur at Costco
When negligence leads to a serious accident at Costco, it has the potential to cause one or more of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cuts or lacerations
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
No matter the injury type, it is important to discuss the details of the accident with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney to learn what your rights are against Costco.
Do you have a successful Costco injury claim?
No one can expect retail stores to be completely free from hazards, however, Costco does have a duty to provide its visitors with a reasonably safe environment.
To be successful in an injury claim against Costco, the following factors must typically be present:
- The victim’s injuries are the result of proven negligence against Costco and/or a hazardous condition that existed on Costco’s property.
- The victim’s injuries are verified and documented by a medical doctor.
- It is proven that a manager, property owner, employee(s), or person affiliated with Costco failed to ensure a reasonable level of safety for its guests.
- The victim does not share the majority of liability for the incident.
Pursuing an injury claim against Costco can be especially complex and costly.
For this reason, we always recommend that you request a free analysis from an injury attorney that has several years’ experience helping victims with Indiana premises liability lawsuits.
Ask for your FREE Costco case analysis
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping injured people throughout Indiana. Throughout this time, Matt has successfully counseled and represented a number of clients against various retail giants.
In addition to being an award-winning trial attorney, Mr. Boulton has earned a reputation throughout the community as being a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and their well-being. As such, he and his staff commit to each client with an unwavering sense of personal care and respect.
If you were injured while visiting a Costco, Boulton Law Group will provide you with a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that you will never pay for an initial case evaluation, and the only way the firm receives payment for its services is if we win your Costco injury claim.
To speak with attorney Boulton today, call 317-350-2680, or you can write to us with the details of your Costco accident by using our confidential contact form.
We look forward to hearing your story!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.