Accidents happen, especially when it comes to stray shopping carts in the parking lot. And as a business owner, you want to make sure your customers—and their belongings—are safe.
So what happens when a shopping cart damages a car? Are you and your business liable for the damages?
Is Shopping Cart Damage Negligence?
Is your business liable for damage done to cars by shopping carts in your parking lot? The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. The customer must prove two things:
- That you were negligent in keeping him or her safe, which requires that your business had the responsibility to keep them safe in the first place
- That you did not exercise reasonable care
According to Bighorn Law, a firm that works in personal injury and workers’ compensation law, a customer must determine if your business had a responsibility to keep them safe and prevent damage or injury.
If your business owns the parking lot where the customer’s car was damaged, it is likely that you have a duty of care toward him or her and are responsible for any damages. If the parking lot is owned by a separate management company, that company would most likely be liable.
If your business was responsible for the parking lot, the customer will still need to prove that you did not exercise reasonable care (try to prevent the accident from occurring). For example, if your parking lot contained zero attendants and you did not provide cart corrals to limit stray carts, it could be said that you did not exercise reasonable care and you would be held legally responsible.
Preventing Parking Lot Car Damage
Prevent parking lot car damage and avoid a lawsuit. First, you’ll need to make sure your parking lot and storefront have plenty of room for shopping cart storage. You can do this by placing cart corrals in your parking lot to entice customers to return their carts.
Next, you’ll need to make sure your parking lots are adequately staffed throughout the day and that your employees are retrieving carts and putting them away in the proper location.
Keeping your customers and their belongings safe is a great way to build lasting customer relationships and increase revenue at your business. For more information on cart corrals and other products to enhance your customers’ shopping experience, contact McCue Corporation today.