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Seminario de Seguridad Negligente | Marzo 2015>

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    5 Steps You Need to Take if You Fall at the Mall

    With a diverse selection of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, shopping malls are a popular destination for both practical needs and leisure time. While you’re enjoying everything that a mall has to offer, one of the last things you expect to happen is to become injured by slipping and falling. Unfortunately, however, slip-and-fall incidents at shopping malls are common, often caused by hazards such as spills, misplaced merchandise, or uneven surfaces. These incidents may result in serious injuries, including broken bones and head or spinal cord injuries.

    Under Florida’s premises liability laws, business owners have a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition and to warn visitors of known hazards. For example, if the owner or manager becomes aware of a spill on the premises, it should be cleaned up promptly; if the hazard cannot be easily rectified, they should put up signs warning visitors, or should close off the area until it is safe. If these duties are not met, the store may be held liable for a visitor’s injuries. In the context of a shopping mall, individual store owners are generally responsible for maintaining their spaces, while the mall owner (which is usually a large property management company) is typically responsible for common areas, such as food courts, restrooms, and parking lots.

    Whether you were inside a store or one of the mall’s common spaces, here are five crucial steps to take if you’ve been injured from a fall at a shopping mall:

    1. Seek medical attention. If you believe you may be seriously hurt, call 911 or ask someone else to do so for you. Keep in mind that some injuries—including serious head injuries—may not be apparent at first, so even if you don’t go to the emergency room, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible.
    2. Document the scene. Take pictures and/or videos of the hazard that caused you to fall and the surrounding area. This is particularly true if you slipped on a substance like water or something that should not be on the floor. It is the victim’s duty to prove what caused the fall. If there were any witnesses, speak with them and ask for their contact information.
    3. Speak to the manager of the store (or the mall management or security, if the fall happened in a common area). Ask if you can file a formal report about the incident; if not, ask for the manager’s contact information and send an email as soon as possible detailing your injuries, when the accident happened, and what caused it.
    4. Keep thorough records. Start a file with all your documentation related to the incident, including photos and notes from the scene, the store’s report and any other correspondence with them, medical records and bills, and records from your employer if you needed to take time off work due to your injuries.
    5. Consult an attorney. If the store or shopping mall breached their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment—and this breach caused your fall and subsequent injuries—you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost income and more. The key is to act swiftly in contacting a Florida attorney with experience in personal injury and premises liability cases.

    At Leighton Law, one of our areas of expertise is representing victims of slip-and-fall accidents in Florida stores and shopping malls. Our attorneys have a long and successful track record of recovering substantial damages for those who were injured in these incidents, and we will guide you through each step of your case. Call us today at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation!


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