The Shops at North Bridge is a popular shopping center in Chicago. With four levels, 50 stores, and 20 restaurants, the shopping center spans six city blocks. Millions of customers shop at The Shops at North Bridge every year. Many shoppers slip and fall and injure themselves in this large complex and are entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Why do slip and fall claims happen?
There are a number of reasons as to why a customer may slip and fall in a shopping center. These include:
- Objects in floors
- Wet surfaces
- Uneven sidewalks
- Holes in parking lots
- Ripped carpets
- Weather conditions (such as snow, ice, and rain)
These are some of the most commonly cited reasons for slip and fall claims.
The process of a slip and fall claim
After a customer is injured in a slip and fall claim, he or she may file an incident report at the store or shopping center. Once representatives from the shopping center notify the insurance carrier of such an incident, these representatives or insurance agents may contact the victim to try to settle the claim. However, victims should not speak to these individuals without the guidance of an attorney. Otherwise, the statements a victim makes may be used against him or her later on in the claim.
Once the victim retains an attorney, the attorney will take over discussions with the shopping center’s insurance company. The attorney will provide copies of medical bills, lost wage information, and other documents that demonstrate the extent of the victim’s damages. The attorney will then attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement taking these numbers into account. If the insurance company refuses to settle, then a lawsuit may need to be filed.
To file a lawsuit, the attorney will draft a complaint that lays out the causes of action against the shopping center and what the victim is seeking as a result of the case. The shopping center will have a certain amount of time to file its answer in response to the claim.
The parties will then begin the discovery process, during which they will exchange documents and other types of evidence that either support or refute the claims in the case. Store records, medical records, employment records, photos, video surveillance, and eyewitness accounts may all be exchanged between the parties as they attempt to negotiate a settlement in the case.
If the parties eventually come to a settlement agreement, it will be filed with the court and the case will conclude. If the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case may proceed to trial. After reviewing evidence and hearing testimony, the court will determine if the shopping center is liable.
Our attorneys understand slip and fall claims