Slips and Falls in Shopping Malls
The holidays are a time when more shoppers are out and about. This increased traffic in shopping malls, along with often wet conditions that customers track into stores can lead to more slips and falls in retail stores than usual. A slip and fall in a shopping mall or other store can be more serious than a trip at home because of the extremely hard surfaces that stores use as flooring.
If you have suffered an injury from a slip and fall in a retail space, you may be wondering if you would be eligible for a personal injury claim. Each slip and fall case is different and you should contact a personal injury attorney who can examine the strength of your individual case. That being said, there are some general parameters concerning slips and falls that may make them eligible for a personal injury claim.
Negligence on the part of the property owner
For the shopping mall to be responsible for your slip and fall injury, you must be able to prove that the responsible party was negligent in maintaining a safe shopping environment. The responsible party may be the retail group, the shopping mall, or an outside management group. Your attorney can help you determine exactly who would be liable for your injury. For the responsible party to be liable, you must be able to prove that the management was aware of a potential hazard and failed to rectify the situation or that they otherwise failed in their duty to maintain a safe environment.
• If the store or shopping mall had a cleaning schedule, such as checking bathroom floors or entry ways for puddles, that it did not maintain (often these cleaning schedule are posted and must be initialed by employees when they have completed their cleaning round).
• The store did not maintain a safe entryway. Appropriate lighting is reasonable and if light bulbs were out and not replaced, the business might be liable for an entryway injury. Or if the store had entry mats that were very worn with rough edges sticking up, they might be liable.
• The store had unfinished displays, precariously stacked products, or other products that it was aware were a danger to pedestrians but that it failed to fix.
If You Suffer a Slip and Fall
If you experience a slip and fall in a shopping mall, you should always immediately seek medical attention in order to document your injuries. Refusing immediate medical care can make it difficult to file an injury claim later on. You should also notify store management of your injury. They may want you to sign paperwork before you leave the store. This paperwork may waiver your right to file a personal injury claim. You should refuse to sign anything until you seek medical attention and contact an attorney. If you are able, you should try to document your slip and fall:
• Use your phone to take pictures of the hazard that caused your fall
• Ask witnesses for their names and phone numbers
• Keep records of all your medical appointments and expenses
Slips and falls can leave you with serious injuries that take a long time to recover from. If you have suffered a slip and fall in a shopping mall or other retail space, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim if the responsible party was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe shopping space. If you have suffered a slip and fall, you should contact a slip & fall attorney who can make sure that your personal injury claim is both successful and adequate to cover the need caused by your injury.