Mall Safety - It's Not Just The Law, Its Also About Human Lives
A woman in China died due to an escalator tragedy in a mall has brought back the focus on following safety and security protocols. With the increasing number of malls and their dependence, the incidences of mishaps due to negligence have multiplied. At times like these, it’s important to know one’s rights in times of danger.
Here are some of the most common mall accidents due to negligence:
1. Slips and falls
This is one of the most common forms of mall accidents. When slips and falls take place, more than just one person is injured. It can be caused due to uneven and cracked sidewalks, waxed or slippery floors, unsecured electrical chords, spillage of drinks and step-ups inside stores.
2. Escalator injuries
Injuries caused while using escalators, mainly due to misaligned handrails, non-synced steps, broken entry mats or simple malfunction of the system are common mall injuries.
3. Shopping carts
Injuries from poorly maintained shopping carts are a major cause of accidents in malls. Such injuries are primarily a consequence of sharp and abrasive edges that cut visitors’ fingers and hands.
4. Parking lot crashes
Crashes in parking lots of malls are frequent. They are caused due to worn away or nonexistent directions and poor lighting. Consequently, cars travel in directions they are not supposed to, and end up in collisions.
As per this Canadian law, any injury caused to a person in a property due to negligence is the liability of the property owner. Thus, any injuries faced by shoppers in malls are ultimately the responsibility of the mall owner. In fact, this is the primary aim of the tort law - to provide relief to people from damages incurred by them due to negligence, trespassers or assaulters. It also focuses on determining when the person who caused the harm has to pay compensation.
For example, if an escalator suddenly stops working causing you severe damage like a fracture in either of your arms, the mall owner is obligated to pay you compensation. Additionally, you can also file for defective product and sue the escalator manufacturer.
Tort law doesn’t only protect victims but also owners of properties. For example, if you incurred injury due to tripping over shopping bags that was dropped by a fellow shopper in front of you, the mall owner will not be liable for such an injury.
If the injury is minor, involving bruises, swelling or cuts, you can handle the claim by yourself. But if the injury is more serious like broken bones, head injuries or internal damage, hiring an attorney is essential.
An attorney will have access and knowledge of things that you wouldn’t have, and when the stakes are high, such expertise is crucial. Lawyers also have the power to subpoena mall surveillance tapes, inspect security personnel records and review mall inspection schedules to ensure you get your claim.