Shopping malls are busy places and like any public place, accidents can happen. The most common shopping mall accidents are automobile accidents. Other common accidents include slips, falls, and even trampling. These happen at busy shopping centers and through no fault of the mall owner. Parking lots are where most of the accidents happen and, if it’s an auto accident, the fault lies with the driver of the car.
Shopping Mall Accidents and Injuries
Slip and falls are one of the most common shopping center accidents. In parking lots and sidewalks, uneven and cracked pavement is the usual culprit. In the winter, ice and snow can also cause slip and fall accidents. Falling debris and signs for advertising are also things that people may run into while in a shopping center.
The most surprising type of accident, and it is more common than you might think, is trampling. This happens when a large crowd knocks an individual or individuals over and walks over them. Trampling crowds can cause several injuries and even trauma. Most of these accidents occur on “Black Friday” or other big sales.
The most commonly reported injuries that happen from shopping malls and personal injuries while at malls are:
- Back Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Head Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Knee Injuries
Most of these injuries all occur from slips and falls, which is why wet floor signs are so important for business owners. Wet or even over waxed floors get slippery and pose risks to visitors to malls and shopping centers. While wet floor signs do not completely protect the business from liability claims, they do show an attempt to prevent injuries. This can be used as a defense to prevent paying higher damage repairs to someone who gets injured in their store.
Who is at fault for your injuries?
Who is going to pay for the injuries that you sustained while at a shopping center? Depending on the circumstances of your injury or injuries, you may be able to seek and receive compensation from one or more sources. While shopping malls sometimes have different owners and management, if you are hurt in a common area it may be the owner or management for the mall.
If you are injured in a storefront or actual retail space, the store owner or management company could be responsible. If you are injured on an escalator, the escalator company or manufacturer of the defective equipment is responsible. Additionally, private individuals may be in charge and are who you should contact if you’ve been injured.
You may have more than one claim for your injuries. The reason being, if you were injured inside of the retail store, you must seek compensation through the retail store then your secondary claim would be against the shopping mall where you were injured.
Also, if you are hurt on an escalator or an elevator, you must reach out to the manufacturer of the faulty equipment that you were hurt on. This ensures you receive compensation from both the manufacturer and the shopping mall. If you’ve been injured at a mall these are things that the injured person may not know until you are trying to prove your case.
Seeking Compensation for Shopping Mall Accidents
If you’ve had a slip or a fall while visiting a shopping mall, you can seek compensation. As we’ve discussed, you can even seek compensation from multiple parties. However, in order to build a successful claim, you must prove that they were at fault.
Personal injury law centers on proving the other party’s negligence. This legal theory centers on a “duty of care” that another party owes to another. For instance, mall owners or employees are responsible for providing a safe, clean, and risk-free public environment. If these expectations are not met, then the result is a breach of care. Negligence, in this case, is when one of these responsibilities is not met due to the inattention of the business owner. Likewise, a retail store owner within a shopping mall carries these same responsibilities.
What to do after a slip and fall accident in a mall
In order to file a personal injury claim, you have to prove that a breach of care has happened. As a rule of thumb, the more quickly you record information after an accident, the better. So in terms of shopping mall accidents, say that you tripped on an over-waxed floor while you were shopping. It’s the middle of the day, there are plenty of people around, there’s no wet floor sign, and you fell and hurt yourself.
People will have likely noticed that you fell, and may ask if you’re all right. Take note of your injuries, write them down as soon as you can. Then, talk to the people around you to gather witnesses. Ask them if they noticed the slippery floor, or see if they noticed the lack of wet floor signs too. Make sure you exchange contact information and ask if you can contact them as a witness later on.
It is also essential that you seek medical attention immediately. This will help create a record of the incident and even help identify medical problems linked to the accident. Just like in a car accident, you may not immediately feel hurt until later, but don’t wait! If you wait too long after an accident occurs, you may not be able to receive compensation for those injuries.
Outside of the incident and initial medical care, make sure you document as much information as possible. This will help you seek the right kind of compensation for what you have suffered.
Damage awards can include covering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Working with a Personal Injury Attorney
As you can see, seeking compensation can be a complicated and intimidating process. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you build a successful case. Legal professionals know how to navigate the layers of liability in these cases, so you can file your claim against the right party.
At The Cochran Firm, we have a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to help better serve you. Our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you. With the years of acclaimed experience, let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a FREE no-obligation consultation at 1-800-THE-FIRM or chat with us now on our website to learn if you have a case and how we can help you.