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Who Is Liable If I Slip and Fall at the Shopping Mall?

March 8, 2022Premises Liability

Property owners in Missouri owe an obligation to visitors to keep their premises reasonably safe from harm. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, including a shopping mall, you may be able to sue if a dangerous condition was responsible for your fall. However, determining who is liable after a slip and fall at a shopping mall is not always easy and often depends on where and why the accident occurred. 

Potentially Liable Parties for a Shopping Mall Slip and Fall

The following parties may be liable for a slip and fall at a shopping mall, often dependent on where the accident took place: 

  • The owner of the mall. As a general rule, mall owners are responsible for common areas, including the parking lots, entrances and exits, and the walking areas outside the stores. However, no matter where the slip and fall happened, whether it was a common area or in a store, the owner of the mall may be liable.
  • The shop owner or manager. If your slip and fall occurs inside one of the shops in the mall, that store owner will be liable in most cases. 
  • A maintenance company. A maintenance company may be liable for a slip and fall in addition to the store or mall owner if their faulty repairs led to your accident—for example, on an escalator or elevator. 

However, not every case is straightforward, and there may be multiple parties that are partially liable for your slip and fall. For instance, suppose a leaking roof caused a slippery floor, which led to your slip and fall inside a store. The mall owner may be liable for failing to repair the roof and creating the dangerous condition, but the shop owner may also be responsible for failing to clean up the floor or warn customers of the hazard within a reasonable amount of time. 

How Comparative Fault Can Impact Liability for a Shopping Mall Slip and Fall Claim

Missouri operates on a pure comparative fault system. This means that rather than only one party being at fault for a shopping mall slip and fall accident, each party involved is assigned a percentage based on their contribution. This law holds victims accountable by reducing their awarded compensation according to their share of fault. For example, suppose the shopping mall owner is found 70% at fault for your accident, the shop owner 20%, and you are 10%. If you are awarded $100,000, you will only receive 90% of your award or $90,000. As long as you are not found 100% to blame, you can recover compensation. 

What to Do After a Slip and Fall at a Shopping Mall

The steps you take immediately after a slip and fall accident at a shopping mall can significantly impact on your ability to recover compensation.  

Seek Medical Care

Call 911 if you are severely injured, or see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Medical documentation linking any potential injuries to the fall is critical. A delay in treatment can give a reason for a liable party’s insurance company to argue that your injury was not a result of the fall or as severe as you claim. If the police arrive on the scene, they will create an accident report that details how they believe the accident occurred and who was at fault. 

Document the Accident

If you are not immediately taken to the hospital, stay at the scene and take photos or videos of the dangerous condition which led to your fall, the surroundings, and your injuries. If anyone witnessed the fall, ask for their contact information so that the insurance company or your attorney can reach them for a statement.

Notify the Property Owner

Report the slip and fall to the shop owner or supervisor and shopping mall management, so an accident report is filed. This report is critical to your claim for compensation. 

Speak to an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney

Schedule a free consultation with a St. Louis Slip & Fall Attorney. They will evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options. Hiring representation will protect you from being taken advantage of or accepting an unfairly low settlement offer. 

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