Trenton Shopping Mall Accident Lawyers
Seasoned Attorneys Helping Clients Obtain Compensation for Shopping Mall Injuries in Lawrenceville, Princeton, Hamilton, and throughout New Jersey
You may worry about getting injured at an amusement park or ice-skating rink, but you probably do not go to the local mall anticipating getting hurt. Shopping malls are bustling centers of commerce, with various shops, department stores, food courts, and escalators. New Jersey has dozens of traditional and nontraditional indoor and outdoor malls. Typically nestled in a sizable parking lot, shopping malls attract large crowds, especially during the holidays, and can be the site of slips, trips, and falls when not adequately maintained. Also, the parking lot can be dangerously full of inattentive drivers looking for premium parking spaces, not paying attention to other cars or pedestrians.
Getting injured at a shopping mall is unfortunate and frustrating when you do not know who is responsible for your injury. Fortunately, our talented team of personal injury attorneys at Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson can help. We have over 50 years of experience investigating the potentially liable parties after accidents that leave our clients injured and aggressively pursuing compensation. When you or someone in your family has suffered injuries in a shopping mall accident in East Windsor, Bordentown, Lawrence, Princeton, Hamilton, or another New Jersey center, contact us at (609) 528-2596 to receive a free case examination and discuss your options for filing a lawsuit.
Liability and Negligence in NJ Shopping Mall Accidents
Shopping mall owners or managers must maintain a safe environment under the laws of premises liability and negligence or risk lawsuits by injured patrons. The floors, elevators, and parking lot must be in good repair to keep visitors from tripping over cracks or lifted pavers in the parking lot and slipping on freshly waxed floors or spilled drinks at the food court. Wrinkled carpets, unlit parking lots that result in assaults or robberies, and structural problems with the building can cause injuries. Broken escalators with slipping handrails or broken steps can cause falls or injuries from sudden stops. Avoidable accidents may mean commercial property owners and managers can be shown to be at fault for a visitor’s injury.
The law is clear. Those who invite others to their business property must ensure their safety while on the premises. So, if parking lot cracks or overgrown trees cause trips and falls or blind spots that contribute to vehicle collisions, those responsible for maintaining the property may be liable for those injured if the owners could have taken reasonable steps to avoid the injuries. Whether the mall owners breached their duty to maintain safe premises depends on whether the mall maintained a dangerous condition after knowing it existed or if they reasonably shown have been aware of it. For instance, accumulated snow left untouched for hours or days may show that the dangerous condition lasted long enough for the mall to know about it and clear the snow.
Common Claims for Shopping Mall Accidents
While slip and fall injuries and parking lot accidents are familiar to malls, other common claims involve elevator accidents, falling merchandise, inadequate lighting, and negligent security. And these accidents can happen to employees doing their jobs, customers tripping over stray merchandise on the floor, food court spills, bathroom injuries, and iced-over parking lots. And for those malls that offer children’s rides, the owners and managers must beware of hazards in operating and maintaining moving trains or other rides.
Common Shopping Mall Injuries and Their Resulting Effects
Depending on the extent of your injuries, from mere bruises to broken bones or a concussion, your damages for your fall, slip, or crash include your medical expenses in treating your injuries. Such medical bills may include physical therapy and future treatment, such as surgery to correct broken bones, stitch lacerations, and other damages. Besides past and future medical bills, the mall may owe you for pain and suffering due to injuries and any lost wages from missing work. For severe injuries, you may be incapacitated so you may include future lost wages in a damages claim. Permanent damages may consist of the lost ability to work for the foreseeable future. Also, your spouse may have a claim for loss of consortium or the enjoyment of their relationship with you.
Steps to Take After a Shopping Mall Accident
After getting injured at the mall, you should report the accident and your injuries to the appropriate party. It may be the mall manager, security supervisor, or mall owner. It would help if you also took pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. And, of course, seek medical attention. Your doctor will record your accident notes in your medical file, which can be additional evidence of the accident. In addition, you should make a written demand that the property owner keep video surveillance footage of the accident. You do not want to discuss your accident on social media or speak to the mall’s insurance carrier without an attorney. Since the mall may deny fault or try to settle with you for little money, you should then speak to a lawyer to understand the damages award you may receive.
The Store Owner or the Shopping Mall? Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
Depending on where your accident occurred, you may be suing two parties for your damages, the mall and the retail store where you fell. For example, your slip and fall on water leaked from a retail store roof may require that you sue the retail store for failing to keep their premises safe (when they knew or should have known the leak and water on the floor existed) and the mall owner whose duty was to keep the mall roofing maintained. Typically, the mall owner maintains common areas, like parking lots, entrances, exits, and common areas. An injury occurring inside a store may be the responsibility of the individual store owner; however, their lease with the mall may determine who is responsible for maintaining which areas.
Filing a Claim to Recover Damages for a Shopping Mall Accident
To receive compensation for your injuries from a mall accident, you must prove that the damage was the fault of the mall, store owner, or both. So, whether you are filing a claim with an insurance company or prosecuting your case in front of a jury, you must establish the mall owner’s negligence by showing the mall had a duty to its visitors (whether they are paying customers or not) to protect them against foreseeable dangers. You must also prove the existence of a dangerous condition at the mall that the owner knew about or should have known about, the mall owner’s failure to correct the situation or warn visitors, the injury that resulted directly from the dangerous conditions, your damages, and that you did not cause your harm.
A mall owner is not responsible for every accident on their premises, only foreseeable ones known to them. So, an owner is responsible for a patron’s broken ankle slipping on water from a leaky roof that the owner knew of but failed to repair. An owner can foresee that a leaky roof can create a slippery floor that someone would slip on and break an ankle. However, an inattentive driver in the parking lot who hits a pedestrian is not necessarily the mall owner’s fault if the parking lot condition did not contribute to the accident and resulting injuries.
Proving Your Claim for Shopping Mall Injuries
It is often difficult to prove that the mall owners or managers knew dangerous conditions existed on their property before someone was injured. Thus, witnesses, employees, and surveillance camera footage may be necessary in proving the mall knew or should have known of a potential injury over faded parking lot markings that caused a car accident, for example. There may be reports of the dangerous condition before you were injured there. Considering the challenges in proving liability in these claims, it is imperative to have an experienced personal injury lawyer investigating your case and meticulously assembling all of the evidence to prove what occurred, how it occurred, what you suffered as a result, and who is responsible.
Contact Our Princeton Shopping Mall Injury Attorneys for Help with Your Claim
Claiming your damages for a mall accident may be tricky. You could get frustrating pushback from the mall owner, manager, store owner, or insurance carrier. Our personal injury lawyers at Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson can intervene and push your claim to the appropriate parties. And if necessary, we can bring your case before a jury and utilize all of our knowledge and skill to persuade them to rule in your favor with the highest possible damages award. Call (609) 528-2596 to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney quickly after your accident in a shopping mall or shopping center in Burlington, Trenton, Ewing, West Windsor, Pennington, and throughout Mercer County and surrounding New Jersey areas. The consultation is always provided free of charge, and we can guide you on crucial first steps to preserve evidence that you will need down the line for compensation.