People of all ages enjoy visiting the mall for a variety of reasons. In addition to myriad shopping options, malls provide a free indoor “track” for walkers, a place to bring the kids during inclement weather and a convenient spot for friends to grab a bite and browse the latest trends. Regardless of the mission, visitors expect their local shopping mall to be safe and well-maintained.
Nevertheless, countless people are seriously hurt in shopping mall accidents each year. If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your losses, direct and intangible. However, proving negligence entails a complicated and challenging legal process. Therefore, hiring a Detroit personal injury lawyer is the surest way to receive the compensation you deserve.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A SHOPPING MALL ACCIDENT?
Like all property holders, shopping mall owners and managers have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and danger-free. This includes everything inside the mall as well as adjacent outdoor areas such as sidewalks, entryways and parking lots. In addition, individual stores, restaurants and other businesses are typically responsible for maintaining their spaces and repairing or removing hazards that could cause personal injury to employees and customers.
Recommended reading: How To Know If You Have Grounds For A Slip And Fall Injury Claim
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF SHOPPING MALL INJURIES?
The majority of personal injuries in shopping malls result from slip and fall accidents caused by various hazardous conditions. Most falls occur because of hazardous conditions inside the mall or in outdoor areas such as parking lots or sidewalks. In addition, some people are injured due to other circumstances.
Here are the most common causes of shopping mall injuries:
- Spilled liquids, especially in and near food courts
- Slippery mall entryways on rainy or snowy days
- Wet or icy parking lots and sidewalks
- Faulty escalators and elevators
- Malfunctioning revolving doors
- Damaged stairways
- Electrical cords used for decorative displays or cleaning equipment
- Indoor trees, special exhibits and other décor
- Unsafe equipment in children’s play areas
- Assaults in restrooms or parking lots
- Inadequate lighting
- Loose carpet
- Broken concrete
- Overcrowding on Black Friday or during other special events
Recommended reading: Understanding How “Premises Liability” Affects Your Slip And Fall Case
DO I NEED A DETROIT PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IF I AM HURT AT A SHOPPING MALL?
Yes. Research shows that plaintiffs who hire personal injury lawyers receive larger settlements and verdicts than those who try to represent themselves. This is because the laws that govern these cases are complex, whether someone is hurt in an auto accident or a food court. And, when a person is injured on someone else’s property such as a shopping mall, the plaintiff must meet several legal standards in order to receive compensation. A Detroit personal injury lawyer with experience and a proven track record has the necessary skills and resources to overcome the various obstacles and build a winning case.
Recommended reading: How A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help You Win Your Slip And Fall Lawsuit
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LEGAL ISSUES THAT AFFECT SHOPPING MALL PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS?
Below are some of the personal injury laws pertaining to accidents in shopping malls and other venues:
While Michigan law requires property owners to use “reasonable care” when maintaining their premises, plaintiffs must also prove negligence on the part of the owner. This means demonstrating the property owner knew – or should have known – about the hazard and failed to remedy the situation.
Establishing who is liable for a shopping mall injury can be complicated because more than one party may be at fault. For example, if a shopper is injured on a malfunctioning escalator, the owner or manager of the mall could be liable for failing to keep the equipment in good working order. Additionally, the escalator manufacturer might be responsible for providing a defective product Likewise, an outside company hired to maintain the escalator may be at fault.
The victim may be entitled to compensation from multiple parties. This is why it is important to consult a knowledgeable Detroit personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure the best financial outcome.
“Open and Obvious” law
The “open and obvious” doctrine is the most common defense used by property owners in slip and fall lawsuits. Basically, this law exempts property owners from liability if “an average person of ordinary intelligence would have been able to discover the danger and risk upon casual inspection.”
Unfortunately for victims, most hazardous conditions meet this criteria.
Recommended Reading: How the Open and Obvious Law Affects Michigan Slip and Fall Cases
Under Michigan law, if a victim bears some responsibility for an accident, compensation is reduced according to the degree of fault. For example, someone who tripped over a misplaced electrical cord while looking down at a cell phone would likely be assigned a certain degree of fault. Therefore, if the settlement is $100,000 and the victim is 30% responsible, the victim would receive $70,000 (less attorney fees).
“Natural accumulation” rule
Similar to the “open and obvious” concept, Michigan’s “natural accumulation” rule is frequently used as a defense by property owners who claim people should expect a certain amount of snow and ice during the winter and take appropriate precautions.
Recommended reading: Slip And Fall Statute Of Limitations: Everything You Need To Know
PUT AN EXPERIENCED DETROIT PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM ON YOUR SIDE
The Sam Bernstein Law Firm takes every personal injury case seriously. We treat our clients like family and we have the experience, expertise and resources to win the compensation you deserve.
Shopping mall accidents are complicated, but finding the right Detroit personal injury attorney is simple.
Start your case today by clicking the button below or calling 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety of your home.