When we go to the mall, we typically have our minds on whatever it is we are looking to buy, not on sustaining an injury. However, mall accidents happen on a regular basis and range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries. While it is the legal responsibility of the property owners and business managers within the mall to ensure the premises are adequately maintained and safe for patrons, this is not always the case. With more than 70,000 shopping malls located throughout the United States, it is no wonder accidents take place more often than many of us realize.
Cases against shopping malls and merchants are complicated, to say the least. It can be difficult to prove who is liable and who is in charge of maintaining the property, and there is often big names and money behind these entities. This is why it is important to retain a skilled premises liability lawyer if you have been injured in a shopping mall. When shopping mall property owners and business managers are negligent, resulting in an injury from accidents or crimes, they should be held accountable. A premises liability attorney will be able to walk you through the necessary steps and ensure justice is served.
Common Shopping Mall Accidents
Many different things can go wrong while shopping at your local mall, from slip and fall accidents to serious crimes. Here is a look at a few of the most common types of shopping mall accidents that take place across the U.S.:
- Slips and falls – As mentioned, slips and falls take place on a regular occurrence in shopping malls. This is by far the most common form of shopping mall injury. Slip and fall accidents happen because of many different factors, such as uneven and cracked pavement in parking lots and sidewalks, icy sidewalks, polished, waxed, or wet floors, unsecured electrical cords, spilled food or drinks in food courts, floor mats, and more.
- Escalator injuries – These types of injuries are often serious, due to their nature. Injuries from malfunctioning escalators can happen for many different reasons, including when there is a misaligned handrail, non synced steps, broken entry mats, sudden stops, and so on.
- Trampling – We’ve all seen the Black Friday news stories about people trampling over one another for that big screen TV and, unfortunately, these types of accidents happen more often than you may think. From grand openings to celebrity appearances, mall tramplings often involve children and happen all the time.
- Assaults and muggings – Another common occurrence at shopping malls are assaults and muggings. These types of crimes often happen in shopping mall bathrooms or the parking garage, as these areas are not open to public view. While most shopping malls have security personnel and cameras, criminals have learned how to get around these security measures.
- Shopping carts – If a mall’s shopping carts is not properly maintained, it could lead to injury, especially to the visitors’ fingers and hands.
These are just a few examples of the types of accidents that occur in shopping malls. Liability will differ depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and where, exactly, it took place in the mall. If, for example, you are injured in the mall’s parking lot, the owner of the building may be held responsible. On the other hand, if you are injured while shopping at a merchant located inside the mall, the business manager or shop owner may be held liable. In order to gain a better understanding of how liability works in Oklahoma shopping mall accidents, we encourage you to contact Atkins & Markoff today.