Slip and Fall Accidents at the Shopping Mall- Who is Liable?

Slip and fall accidents are the most common injury suffered at shopping malls. They can occur due to uneven pavement in parking lots, spills in food courts that haven’t been mopped up, and ice and snow on walkways. Shopping malls also have escalators, which can result in serious injuries if poorly-maintained. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall, contact a Boston personal injury lawyer today.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall, you are likely to have two personal injury claims, one against the mall and one against the retail store you were in at the time of the incident. In a situation involving a retail store, you will file a claim against the store first, and the mall second. For example, if you are injured when you trip over an electrical wire in Old Navy, you will file the primary claim against Old Navy and the secondary claim against the mall in which Old Navy is located. If, however, your injury occurs in a common area, such as the food court, restroom, or parking lot, the claim will be against the mall alone. There is also the possibility that the mall brings in third parties to provide services such as  clean, provide maintenance, plow, and they too may be liable if the cause was their fault.

Who is Liable?

The owner of the shopping mall has a legal duty of care to protect customers and visitors from undue harm. If the accident occurred due to a foreseeable event, such as the breakdown of an escalator, the mall owner is almost certain to be liable for resulting injuries. The mall owner may argue that an escalator breakdown was not foreseeable, but that excuse probably won’t hold up in court. With proper maintenance, no escalator should break down without warning. That is, of course, unless there was a manufacturing or installation defect. In this case, liability may be directed at another party, such as the contractor that installed the escalator or the company that manufactured it. In any case, someone if not multiple parties can be liable for injuries suffered.

Proving Your Claim

If you come to the table with adequate evidence, your chances of a successful liability claim are greatly improved. The more evidence you can gather, the better.

  • If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in the mall, ask an employee to call security personnel. Just as calling police in the event of a motor vehicle accident will result in a police report, calling security in a mall accident will result in an incident report. Ask for a copy. Having this documentation can be of great help to your claim.
  • If your fall results in injuries, ask for medical care. Security should have a first-aid kit on hand. Again, obtaining the incident report from security is important; it will include details of medical care. If the injuries are more serious, ask security to call 911. If paramedics are called, they will create a treatment report based on the call. Ask them for a copy. If you are taken to the hospital, request a copy for your medical admitting chart.
  • If you have a smartphone on you, document the scene of the accident with photographs and video. If, for example, you slipped on a spill, take a picture of the spill before it gets wiped up. Take pictures and video from as many angles as possible. If you are unable to move, ask someone else to take pictures for you. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact a MA injury lawyer today.
  • Witness statements can be very compelling. Ask witnesses for their contact information and a description of what they saw. They can write this on the back of an envelope. They can type it into your phone. They can even text it to you.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have been injured in any type of accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of injury victims for more than 50 years. If the negligence of a shopping mall owner caused you harm, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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