Going to the local shopping mall is a favorite activity for many Americans and Floridians are no exception. With a dozen or so malls in the Miami area, residents and visitors alike can take their pick. Whether it is to do errands, window shopping, actual shopping, or spend leisure time with friends or family, most people don’t think twice about going to the mall. Unfortunately for some, going to the mall could be the biggest mistake of their lives.
Malls can be a place of great risk for slip and fall injuries when the person responsible for ensuring the safety of shopping mall customers fails in his or her duty. If you or a family member are injured in a slip and fall accident or any other type of accident at the mall, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. A slip and fall lawyer can help you get compensation from the responsible parties.
Shopping Mall Accident Statistics
Shopping mall accidents are not all that common, save for exceptional events, such as Black Friday sales. As of 2020, the New York Post recorded 11 deaths and 109 injuries from Black Friday incidents across the US, with two fatalities in Tallahassee over parking space. For mall accidents resulting from negligence, however, there are no reports of recent cases in the Miami area.
That is not to say that mall accidents in Miami leading to injury do not happen. While the Florida Department of Health reported more than 8,000 unintentional injuries due to slip and fall accidents that were serious enough to require hospitalization in 2018, they did not specify the location of the incidents.
It would be reasonable to conclude that some of those accidents occurred inside shopping malls. Wet floors, defective escalators, falling merchandise, and poor lighting could undoubtedly result in shopping mall injuries.
If that happens to mall visitors, it may trigger premises liability of mall owners, operators, and other parties like property owners and require the attention of a Diamond Law Miami mall injury lawyer.
Common Types of Shopping Mall Injuries
The areas of responsibility of mall owners include all internal and external structures, including the parking lots. Common types of shopping mall injuries include the following:
Slips and Falls or Trips and Falls
Slippery floors, uneven surfaces, poor lighting, unsecured power cords, and unexpected dips or rises in stairs can result in someone tripping or slipping and falling. An injury from a slip and fall accident can have significant consequences, especially for the very young and the elderly.
Getting trampled in shopping malls is a possibility, especially during holiday sales and product launches when crowds are exceptionally large. Mall owners and management must ensure proper crowd control through its security and admission policies to avoid accidents, or risk drawing the attention of a personal injury attorney.
Elevators, Escalators, or Stairs
Multiple-level malls, retail stores, and parking structures have escalators, elevators, and stairs. Escalator or elevator malfunctions can lead to serious injuries, as can stairs with broken tiles or missing railings.
Given the high volume of daily foot traffic, facility managers, mall owners, and even shopping center owners must ensure that these devices and structures are in good working condition at all times and regularly inspected. Moreover, in order to prevent accidents and serious injuries, they should also make sure that areas are well-lit.
Unsecured banners, falling ceiling tiles, and poorly stacked merchandise in shopping malls can cause serious injuries, especially if the falling object is heavy.
Assaults and Muggings
Mall security has a duty to prevent crimes, such as assaults and muggings, from occurring within their premises, including parking lots, walkways, and bathrooms. Poor lights and inadequate security often emboldens bad actors, so it is vital to place bright lights and schedule regular patrols. Failure to supply these deterrents may constitute premises liability.
When to Hire a Miami Mall Injury Lawyer?
Any injury sustained inside the mall or in walkways and parking lots justifies consultation with a Miami mall injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond. If it is due to the failure of mall owners to take reasonable steps to prevent harm, you may be able to get compensation for your medical treatment and financial losses.
However, you should understand that while the shopping mall owner may be liable, that’s not always the case. They may be one of several defendants, or they might not be liable at all.
There is no specific shopping mall law. Mall injuries may result in a negligence claim or a premises liability claim. Although they share similarities, they are not the same thing.
A negligence claim typically arises from a party’s breach of a duty of care that he or she owed to the injured party. A premises liability claim, on the other hand, generally involves unsafe property conditions that pose a threat, which could result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. An experienced personal injury attorney will determine under which heading to file your claim based on the circumstances of the case.
The tort of negligence in Florida is embodied in Title XLV, Chapter 768 of the 2021 Florida Statutes, which also includes “Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment” (§ 768.0755). This section states, “If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it.”
However, the law also refers to “contractors” (§ 768.0425) who are persons who contract “to perform any construction or building service which is regulated by any state or local law.” Interestingly, contractors may also be considered as defendants in a personal injury case and may include companies providing:
- Construction services
- Elevator installation and maintenance
- Escalator installation and maintenance
- Janitorial services
- Landscaping services
- Porter services
- Property management
Shopping Malls Safety Tips
Park in well-lit areas.
Parking lots tend to have dark corners that are hidden from general view. Avoid such areas as they put you at risk of mugging or assault.
Put valuables in the trunk.
Put your laptop, DSLR camera, packages, or anything that looks valuable, in the trunk of the car and out of sight of prying eyes. Leaving them out in the open is an invitation for a smashed window or worse.
Look where you’re going.
A slip and fall accident can happen when you’re distracted. So be mindful of your environment and surroundings at all times.
Be discreet with your cash.
Don’t flash it around if you carry a lot of cash. You’re inviting trouble that way.
Avoid carrying around too many bags.
Lugging around many shopping bags is an invitation for an accident or a mugging. Take the trouble to put your purchases in your car when you have more than two bags.
If one of your loved ones or you had an accident in a shopping mall, and it’s due to the mall owner’s negligence, it is very essential to fight for the right compensation. Contact Diamond Law Miami now!
Did you know
“Part of the mall owner’s legal duty is to make sure that the environment is safe and secure for every customer.”
– Diamond Law Miami
Expert Mall Injury Lawyers Miami Are Here to Help
If negligence and premises liability sound complicated to you, it’s because it is. Personal injury cases, such as brain injuries due to dangerous conditions in the mall or negligent store owners, are complex situations. Determining fault and proving liability requires expert investigation and handling by an experienced personal injury attorney from Diamond Law Miami.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a retail store or a mall in Miami, do not hesitate to contact the best personal injury law firm. Diamond & Diamond also handles other personal injury cases, such as car accidents. Our lawyers are ready to help you get compensation for any physical, mental, psychological, and financial losses you may have suffered. Rest assured that you’ll be met with professional courtesy and understanding.
Act now before it’s too late. Call Diamond Law at 1-800-567-HURT or contact us online to schedule a free evaluation.