Injured at the Mall: Who’s Responsible?
Accidents happen everywhere and shopping malls are no exception. Customers slip and fall in icy parking lots. Shoppers are pushed by rowdy Black Friday crowds. Escalators malfunction, causing catastrophic injuries and sometimes even death.
But if you are seriously hurt while at a mall, who is liable? In theory, the answer is simple: anyone who is negligent. In reality, many factors come into play. Where exactly did the accident happen? Could it have been prevented? Was it the fault of the mall owner or a tenant? If you have more questions than answers, a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the situation.
What Are Common Shopping Mall Accidents?
Some shopping malls are like small cities–complete with stores, restaurants, movie theaters, playgrounds, parking lots, bathrooms, and transportation. Unfortunately, they also have some of the same dangers you’ll find in any city.
Below are just a few of the potential shopping center hazards:
- Slip and fall accidents (e.g., wet floors, icy sidewalks, snowy parking lots, etc.)
- Trip and fall accidents (e.g., loose carpeting, cracked floors, potholes in asphalt, debris in aisles, etc.)
- Stairway injuries (perhaps due to broken stairs or handrails)
- Parking lot and parking garage collisions
- Accidents due to poor lighting or maintenance
- Injuries caused by falling merchandise, signage, or shelving
- Crimes due to negligent security (assaults, robberies, etc.)
- Accidents caused by employee-driven machinery or equipment
- Injuries caused by escalator or elevator malfunction
What Responsibilities Do Shopping Centers Have?
According to Massachusetts premises liability laws, businesses are required to maintain a reasonably safe environment for customers. This generally means that malls and stores must follow health and safety codes, keep floors clear and dry, provide adequate lighting and security, perform needed repairs, and warn customers of any hazards (such as putting out a wet floor sign or roping off a hole in the floor).
Unfortunately, businesses don’t always fulfill their duty of care. If you suffered a retail accident due to the negligence of a mall, a store, or another property owner, you might be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. The business may owe you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or even permanent disability.
Do I Qualify for a Retail Store Accident Lawsuit?
To file a successful mall injury lawsuit, you must prove that the property owner (or renter) was negligent in its duty to keep customers safe. You must also show that they knew or should have known about the dangerous conditions that caused your injury. You may have claims against the mall owner, a department store, or even another customer. But liability may be unclear, and often each party blames another.
The personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP can help you every step of the way–from collecting documentation to evaluating liability. We have nearly 50 years of experience protecting the rights of store accident victims. At Altman & Altman LLP, we believe that businesses shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to safety.
If you’ve suffered a serious retail store injury in Massachusetts, contact us today. You can schedule a free consultation with our experienced Boston mall accident attorneys by calling 617.492.3000 or contacting us online.