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How are department stores and shopping malls liable for slip and fall accidents?

Shopping injuries, including those sustained in slip and fall accidents, often occur as a result of the negligence of the owner of the store or the owner’s employees. The owner and his or her workers may fail to maintain the premises, and keep the store in a safe condition for their customers. They may also be liable for failure to warn their customers of known dangers that could potentially cause injury.

The rate at which customers are injured in stores rises significantly during busy shopping seasons, such as many holidays. Slip and fall accidents can occur because of wet floors, torn carpeting, poor lighting and malfunctioning escalators. Such accidents can also take place in a store’s parking lot that has ice and snow that the store’s employees failed to remove.

Store owners have a duty to use reasonable care to ensure that the premises are safe for customers, and do not contain any hidden dangers that could cause someone to slip and fall, and suffer an injury. Store owners must make certain that they take steps to prevent slip and fall accidents by immediately cleaning up spills, repairing defective stairs or railings and replacing dimmed light bulbs.

In order to hold a store owner liable for an injury, a customer must prove that the owner was aware, or should have been aware, of a hazardous condition on the premises, and failed to inspect the store or provided insufficient maintenance; the customer must also establish that there was a link between the hazard and injury, and that he or she suffered damages.

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