How Malls Fail to Prevent Falls
Shopping in Omaha is a popular activity for all age groups, particularly during the winter months, at indoor malls such as Oak View Mall, Regency Mall, and Westroads Mall. Shopping is usually uneventful – until a guest encounters a dangerous walking surface and slips, trips, or falls. Shopping malls and their stores are required to properly maintain their facilities for the safety of guests and employees. When a wet, slippery, or uneven floor or walking hazard in a mall parking lot or structure leads to an injury fall, a claim can filed to recover compensation.
Falls in Omaha Malls
The CDC reports one in ten U.S. residents 18 years or older report falling every year, and falls are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths. When a person encounters a slippery walking surface, they often fall backwards with a head impact, and can be seriously or fatally injured. When this occurs at a mall, the party responsible must be held accountable.
Stores are required to maintain clean, dry floors, and place signage to warn of any wet floor areas. With rainy and snowy conditions, water and ice will be tracked into the facility, and if not addressed immediately, create a fall risk. Spilled drinks or food on a mall floor, or uneven carpeting, walking surfaces or items left in walkways are dangers to the public.
Types of Injuries from Falls
Falls can lead to minor, serious, or fatal injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
When the fall injury has led to serious injuries requiring medical care, hospitalization, or hindering the injured person’s ability to work, an injury claim must be filed against the liable party or parties.
Who is Liable?
If a fall occurred at a mall, it is necessary to identify the liable parties. In some cases, it is the mall owner or operator, as the fall occurred in the parking area or public area of the mall. In other cases, the fall occurred in a store, and the store owner or manager may be liable. The first step in filing a claim is to discuss your case with a premises liability attorney in Omaha.
How do you File an Injury Claim for a Fall in a Mall?
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a fall at a shopping mall, an injury claim can be filed to pursue compensation. The process is often complex, and action should be taken as early as possible after the fall. If you are able, take pictures with your phone of the floor, the area where the fall occurred, and get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Your next step is to ensure you have experienced legal representation that you can trust to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Insurance Claims and Mall Falls
You may assume that the liable party will be willing to take responsibility, but this is not necessarily true. Stores and malls have liability insurance to cover the cost of injuries at their facilities. The insurance companies have teams of aggressive, experienced adjusters and defense lawyers who may dispute the claim, or try to minimize the compensation paid, no matter how well-deserved.
That’s when the skills of the legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Our founder, Jason B. Bottlinger, formerly served as an insurance company defense lawyer and is very familiar with the strategies employed to reduce payouts to injured parties, and discovered his true calling was to help the injured achieve justice when facing tough odds. Reach out to the firm at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation.
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