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I Slipped and Fell in a Shopping Mall – Who is Liable?

Slip and FallThere are all kinds of risks associated with slip and fall accidents that occur in public places, such as a shopping mall. These include falls that result from debris and actual merchandise dropped from the shelves. You could also get hurt from wet floors caused by spilled drinks, food debris or floor cleaning by the mall custodian.

Inside the shopping mall, there are one or more food courts and someone may drop food or drinks on the floor without the knowledge of the mall officials. This could go unnoticed for hours until there’s an accident. That is why, mall officials need to assign employees to scout the perimeters of the mall on a regular basis.

If someone sustains injuries because of this mishap, then it is presumed that the mall is responsible, even though, no one is aware of it at the time of the incident.

So if you are involved in a slip and fall accident in a mall, who is liable? The retailer? Mall management?

Common Areas Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in a Mall

1. The Parking Lot

The most common slip and falls take place in the parking lot. This may include accidents on cracked pavement and sidewalks. It is the mall’s responsibility to keep the parking lot cleaned and without any threat or hazardous obstacle that could cause a slip and fall accident.

2. Inside the Mall

Inside the shopping mall, customers are at risk of suffering a slip and fall in the following areas:

  • Escalator
  • Steps
  • Waxed floors
  • Crumbled floor mats
  • Wet bathroom floors

Injuries on escalators are most common due to handrails that are misaligned, steps out of sync, no visible demarcation lines, sudden stops and broken entrance mats.

Be aware…When merchandise falls from shelves inside a certain retail store in the mall, this may cause subsequent injury.

3. The Trampling

Believe it or not, trampling is another common occurrence. This is especially true with small children. In many cases, the children are not appropriately supervised by the parents.

Visitors can also be careless and this is true during big sale dates such as the day before Thanksgiving when customers are waiting to land a good sale or when a celebrity is going to show up at the mall for autograph signatures.

4. Dog Bites

Though, it might seem unbelievable, people who take their pet dogs to the mall run the risk of having the dog bite someone in the crowd – all because the dog may not be accustomed to such a large crowd. The pet owner is responsible in this case to keep the dog restrained.

5. Assault

Shopping malls are a hangout for robbers and so an assault is not uncommon in those areas. This will generally take place in the mall’s parking lot where the robber follows the customer and robs them.

Be aware…These criminals are shrewd and don’t care that the malls have installed surveillance camera and security guards patrolling around.

The Claims

If you happen to have been injured while at a shopping mall, then you may be entitled to file two claims for personal injury. One of the claims will be against the mall and the other one against the store in which you were shopping.

This, however, greatly depends on where your accident took place and how it was caused. For example, if your injury occurred in front of the retail store, then the mall may be found responsible, not the store…unless the store owner placed an object in front of the store that caused the accident.

Injury Liability

At the end of the day, the management company or owner of the shopping mall is responsible and liable for the safety of its customers. In all states, the law has strict legal guidelines as to customer safety and injury in a shopping mall. Of course, not every injury is included as some unforeseen injuries could be questionable.

Filing for Injuries

If the escalator stopped suddenly and you were knocked down because of the inertia and subsequently broke your ankle, the shopping mall is likely liable. You could file a personal injury claim against the mall for not inspecting and efficiently maintaining the escalator to make sure it doesn’t malfunction.

Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

In order to prove liability, the injured person must collect evidence from the accident showing that it was foreseeable. The accident has to directly link to the injury. You may be entitled to pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. Seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer for more help and legal advice. Contact us now at 386-274-2229.

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