Who is Liable if I Slip and Fall at the Shopping Mall?
Whether it is to purchase a necessity or just have fun with friends or loved ones, trips to the shopping mall are a popular leisure activity for many people. However, our attorneys at Ellis Injury Law know that sometimes the unexpected happens during one of these trips and someone gets seriously injured after slipping and falling.
Factors to consider when determining who might be liable
In order to determine who may be liable for the accident, a qualified Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer will be able to explain that several factors must be considered:
- Where did the fall take place? If it took place inside an individual store, then that store and/or the mall owners may be liable. If it took place in a common area, then the mall owners may be liable. If it took place due to a defective escalator, for example, then the manufacturer of the escalator may be liable.
- Why did the fall occur? If there was a dangerous condition, such as a slippery floor or decrepit staircase, that caused you to fall, then you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. On the other hand, if you just tripped over your feet, then you would be unlikely to have grounds for a slip and fall claim. Similarly, if you entered an area that was clearly marked as prohibited to all patrons, you may not be able to file a slip and fall lawsuit for any injuries you incurred.
- Did an individual person cause you to slip and fall? If so, you may have a personal injury claim against that person.
What is negligence?
To prevail in a slip and fall lawsuit, you will need to prove that the defendant, whoever it is, was negligent and that that negligence caused your injuries. Proving that someone is negligent requires four separate elements to be met:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. In the context of a slip and fall accident in a shopping mall, this element will usually be satisfied, but this issue could come into play in the following situation: if you enter an area of a store or the mall where you are clearly prohibited from, the defendant may not owe a duty of care to you.
- The defendant failed to act reasonably and therefore breached this duty of care. Under California law, “(T)he owner of premises is under a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of such premises in order to avoid exposing persons to an unreasonable risk of harm.” In shopping malls, mall owners and individual store owners owe this duty of care to all patrons. In order to be found to have been negligent, you must prove that the defendant knew, or reasonably should have known, about the dangerous condition. The defendant must have failed to repair the dangerous condition, warn patrons about it, or block it off. There is a time element to this, as it is not reasonable to expect mall or store owners to fix all problems immediately. For example, if someone walking directly in front of you at the food court spills a drink and causes you to slip on the wet floor, the mall owner would not have had any notice or time in which to make it safe for you. On the other hand, if that same spill had been there for three hours without being cleaned up or blocked off, then it would be more likely that the mall owner would be liable because someone managing that area likely either knew or should have known about the spill.
- This dangerous condition was a substantial factor in causing your injuries.
- You must be able to document your injuries and any expenses related to them.
A firm fighting for justice
At Ellis Injury Law, our slip and fall attorneys have been helping Southern Californians reach justice for over 25 years. We have a number of satisfied former clients and have earned over $350 Million on behalf of our clients in settlements and jury verdicts.
Zero cost unless you prevail
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at the shopping mall, call Ellis Injury Law 24 hours a day to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Our clients do not pay us anything unless they win.