When you are injured while shopping at a mall, who is responsible? In this article, we offer a guide to how you can file a claim with insurance, as well as details about frequent injuries sustained at shopping malls, such as slip and falls.
There are more than 45,000 shopping mails spread out across America, with more than 1,000 being indoor. The majority of these malls are owned by corporate companies who lease retail space to small businesses, regional eateries or large department stores. These businesses are accountable for maintaining a clean store, as well as a safe environment for their patrons.
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As for common spaces, such as walkways, escalators or parking lots, it is the property owners who hold responsibility. A visitors’ safety is the responsibility of the corporate company who owns the mall from the minute they drive into the parking lot. This is why it’s important for these areas to be maintained and repaired when needed, as well as security being offered. It’s not cheap either, the annual maintenance expenditures can be quite large. With the addition of malls being a business that loses money, due to retailers shutting their doors, a lawsuit will not help. In fact, reports say that 25% of malls will close in 2020. Unfortunately, injuries are inevitable, these companies have to do all they can to either prevent them or pay the least amount possible in any legal actions.
Have you ever slipped on a damp floor or fell down an escalator that wasn’t working property? If you are hurt and the shopping mall is responsible, can you go after them via a lawsuit, which you would likely need slip and fall lawyers to take on. Even if a mall is going bankrupt, their insurance will be tasked with paying you out.
Shopping-Related Injuries and Accidents
Car accidents occur frequently in crowded retail malls, even though it may not even be the mall owner’s fault. These types of claims are generally made with the insurance carrier of the driver who is to blame.
Below are accidents that are usually the fault of the shopping mall:
– Slip and falls: It is easily the most frequent injury at shopping malls. Usually, it is damaged pavement in walkways, slippery surfaces, obstacles in the walking path or food spillage that causes them.
– Broken Escalators: A damaged escalator resulting in an injury can be caused by misaligned handrails, old entrance mats, abrupt stops or steps that are not synced correctly.
– Falling Objects: Whether it is debris or random objects, an unsuspecting patron can be severely injured if something falls and hits them.
– Trampling: This is actually something that happens more often than you may believe. Usually, injuries from trampling may be caused by inadequate security or malls being unprepared for huge crowds during massive sales promotions or holidays.
– Assaults: Someone being mugged or assaulted happens, unfortunately. Generally, these incidents will take place in a public restroom or parking lot not visible to the public.
Proving Who Is To Blame For Your Injuries
Laws are in place that mandate owners of shopping malls to safeguard customers on the premises from injury. The owners of the property are ultimately accountable for their safety, which means they have a legal obligation to safeguard customers from harm.
However, responsibility doesn’t always fall on the owner of the mall in every incident of a customer being hurt. Accidents must be foreseeable and can be prevented.
What exactly does this mean? We’ll give you an example. If an escalator comes to an abrupt halt, causing you to tumble down the stairs and severely injure yourself, the mall owner will likely be held responsible. While the mall’s insurance company will attempt to claim that they cannot predict such a breakdown of the escalator, it is the mall owner’s job to keep the escalators in good working order.