Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Injury Sustained in a Shopping Mall?
While you would never expect to encounter a slip and fall accident at a mall, the reality is that such an incident can happen to you anywhere without any warning. These accidents are a leading cause of serious physical injuries and death throughout the United States. According to statistics surrounding these types of accidents, most incidents occur at public places such as shopping malls. The public nature of a shopping mall makes it conducive for the development of unsafe conditions that can cause a person to slip or trip and fall, incurring serious physical injuries in the process.
More often than not, slip and fall accidents at shopping malls are a result from the negligence of one or more parties involved in the maintenance and daily upkeep of the property. When such an accident occurs, and it is not due to any fault of your own, it is natural to wonder what you can do to minimize its adverse financial consequences. Therefore, in this day and age, it is essential to know your rights beforehand so that you know what to do if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Causes of Shopping Mall Slip and Fall Accidents
These accidents that occur in shopping malls tend to happen due to a multitude of safety hazards, including wet or slippery floors, freshly waxed or polished surfaces, broken stairs, spilled fluids, uneven walking surfaces or improperly situated hurdles, loose floor mats, or carpets, broken pavement, and more. Since most of these hazards can be removed with proper care and caution on the part of the shopping mall administration and/or management, most shopping mall accidents are preventable if no major safety code violations exist.
Determining Liability in Shopping Mall Slip and Fall Accidents
The determination of liability in such accidents rests on reasonable notice, which can prove or disprove negligence of the shopping mall administration and management. It means that to prove negligence on the part of the said parties, they should have had reasonable notice of the dangerous conditions and enough time to remove any safety hazards that could lead to slip and fall accidents and physical injuries in unsuspecting victims.
Similarly, reasonable caution on the part of the victim of such an accident is also expected. 'Reasonable caution' refers to the level of caution a person should practice when walking through any property, including a shopping mall. For instance, a person who slipped and fell in a shopping mall due to broken pavement is more likely to prove their case in court with ease compared to a person who tripped and fell due to a prominently placed object which would be reasonably avoided by any other person.
Shared Liability in Personal Injury Claims
Sometimes it so happens that the judge rules against both parties, citing shared liability, which means that both parties were at fault for the accident taking place. In the states where the contributory negligence law is enforced, you will receive a smaller amount as compensation for your damages, i.e., your compensation will be reduced proportionally to the percentage of your fault in the accident. This percentage of shared fault is determined by several factors that impact a slip and fall accident at a mall and vary between different states in the United States.
Hiring an Experienced Lawyer
Hiring an experienced lawyer is one of the most important steps towards securing your legal rights in the wake of a slip and fall accident. If your accident occurred at a shopping mall, you can consult a competent attorney on pursuing legal action against the parties responsible for your accident to obtain fair financial compensation for your damages.