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How Not to Get Hurt in a Black Friday Stampede

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 16, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Black Friday sales are a bargain shopper's dream, but every year there are reports of people injured or even killed in Black Friday stampedes, the website Ranker reports.

Shopping after Thanksgiving is as much a tradition for some families as turkey and stuffing. But to make sure everyone comes back home with smiles and bags full of holiday bargains, it's important to take some safety precautions.

Before you head out to hunt for deals, think about how you'll get in and out of the stores without getting caught in a Black Friday stampede. Here are a few tips to avoid injury:

  • Avoid the front of the crowd. Sure you want those deals, but being in the front means you're at risk of being tripped and potentially trampled by a large crowd. If the masses look frustrated or just plain crazy, don't get surrounded and make sure you have an exit route.

  • Be alert. You should be keeping your eyes open for the best deals, but also keep an eye on your fellow shoppers. It's not unheard of for disgruntled shoppers to pull out pepper spray, as Fox News reported last year. If someone looks like she's about to snap, it might be best to back away. Keeping an eye out also means you'll have more details to share with your lawyer if you choose to file a lawsuit because of Black Friday injuries.

  • Hands to yourself. We all learned this at some point, but it's easier said than done when emotions run high. Not only is pushing, shoving, and punching a crime that can get you arrested, but you might set off an angry person and end up on the losing side of a fight. Plus, if you hurt someone you could find be the subject of a personal injury suit.

  • Pick your stores carefully. Everyone has their favorite store, but some have a bad reputation for being more crowded and even violent on Black Friday. Walmart stores in particular seemed to be hotbeds of trouble for holiday shoppers last year, according to NBC News. Finding stores that balance sales with safety is important, especially if you shop with your children.

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