Shopping Mall Accidents
When you go to the mall in Southern California, you are usually thinking about what you are going to buy. You most likely are not thinking about the dangers that you might encounter. You assume that this is the responsibility of the businesses and the mall owner and that they have done their job to provide for customer safety. However, this may not be the case, and serious accidents can happen at the mall. If you are injured in a shopping mall accident, you should consult an experienced Los Angeles premises liability attorney about whether you may have a basis to file a lawsuit.Taking Legal Action Following a Shopping Mall Accident
Property owners and businesses in California are supposed to maintain their property in such a way that lawful visitors are not injured. Mall visitors can hurt themselves at a shopping mall in a number of ways. Stairs may be missing handrails. Merchandise may be improperly stacked. The elevator may not have been well maintained. The beverages in the food court may be heated so hot that it results in third-degree or fourth-degree burns. A customer may be mugged in a badly lit parking lot. A forklift may strike a customer passing by an area being remodeled.
Although mall owners and businesses should be inspecting their property for potential dangers, they do not always do so. To establish the property owner or business' liability for an accident at the mall, you will need to show that the dangerous condition that caused your injuries was created by the defendant or that the defendant knew or should have known about the danger but failed to issue warnings or repair the condition. For example, if a cleaning crew is cleaning the restrooms so that the floors are very slippery, they should put up orange cones or signs to warn customers about it. If you slip and there were no warning signs, you may be able to hold the mall responsible for your injuries.
On the other hand, sometimes a problem exists for a long time, and nobody bothers to fix it. For example, a rail may be broken for some time, long enough to provide a mall owner with constructive notice that it exists as a potential hazard. Sometimes your attorney can establish constructive notice through surveillance footage, or through witness testimony by people working in shops near the dangerous condition that caused the accident.
Malls are also supposed to protect their customers and visitors from known risks of crimes. This may include hiring a security guard or making sure that the parking lot is equipped with good lighting. If a customer at the mall suffers a third-party attack that was foreseeable and against which the mall did not take adequate security precautions, they may have a negligent security claim against the mall.
You can only succeed with this type of lawsuit if you can show that there is a heightened foreseeability of third-party criminal activity at the mall. In other words, there must have been prior similar events to yours, or other indications that there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of violent criminal attacks at the mall. For example, if you are shot at the mall, you would need to show that there were prior shootings at or around the mall that gave rise to a duty on the part of the mall to take appropriate precautions to protect visitors from shootings. Often, it is up to a jury to determine whether security was adequate to address a foreseeable risk.Get Assistance from a Skillful Los Angeles Attorney
If you were injured in a shopping mall accident that you believe was somebody else's fault, you should consult an attorney. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers can evaluate the circumstances surrounding an accident to determine whom to hold accountable for your injuries. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form. We also represent people in areas such as San Bernardino, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside.