I always park my car way back in parking lots.  People are just careless.  Sometimes they put the shopping carts in the corrals provided.  Sometimes they don't. As a result, I've had scratches and dents on my car caused by shopping carts.

The issue of who is at fault and who pays if a shopping cart damages your vehicle or you are injured by a shopping cart can be complicated.

It would seem logical that if a store owns the shopping cart that hits your vehicle and the incident happens on their property, then they should incur some liability in the incident.  That is not so and here is why.

In order for the store to be liable, it would be necessary to show that the store was "negligent" in how they handle shopping carts. If the accident was the fault of another customer, then generally it is not the store's fault.

That is true as long as the store has places to store used carts or staff that go into the lot and retrieve carts. If a customer leaves the cart in the lot and the frequent gusty winds here in West Texas cause the cart to blow into your car, then it might be the customer who is liable.  That customer is probably long gone, so recovering from them might be challenging.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The good news is if your shopping cart damages are more than the insurance deductible on your full coverage auto insurance policy, the damage is covered. According to autoinsurance.org:

Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are types of property damage coverage, so you’ll need them if a shopping cart damages your car. Which one will apply depends on the nature of the incident — for example, was it caused by wind rolling the cart into your car or another person? To ensure you’re covered, it’s best to have both.

It is a whole different story if you are injured by a shopping cart. There are well-documented incidents in Texas where someone suffered serious injuries and even permanent disabilities from shopping cart accidents.

If the shopping cart incident and the harm that you suffered were a direct result of the negligence of a party or entity, you will likely have grounds to sue. If you win, you could be eligible to recover monetary compensation.

There have been some big six-figure injury cases as a direct result of a shopping cart injury. A personal injury attorney can assist if you suffer this kind of injury.

Doctor visiting a patient with cervical collar

None of us want the already high prices we're paying in stores to be even higher because the places we shop are inundated with shopping cart lawsuits. That's why the bar is high in proving a store is negligent whenever a shopping cart incident occurs.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue to park my car far from the busy front door of the supermarket.  Not only is it less likely to be hit by a rogue shopping cart there, but I need the exercise.

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