Chicago Ridge Mall is one of many shopping centers in the Chicago area. It lists roughly 130 shops, as well as a movie theater, a carousel, and over 20 restaurants for its shoppers and visitors to choose from. Thousands of patrons head to this mall every day to shop, eat, and just wander around. In such a large shopping complex, slips, trips, and falls are inevitable. However, many such incidents could easily be prevented with proper safety measures in place.
A large number of slips, trips, and falls are caused by hazardous conditions that are not repaired in a timely manner. For example, say that a tile at the entrance to the shopping center has cracked, and a piece of it is sticking up. Mall employees and maintenance staff notice shoppers tripping on this tile for a few weeks. Some employees even report it to mall management. However, the tile is never repaired. A woman enters the mall one afternoon and trips, slips, and falls due to this piece of tile protruding from the floor. She falls on her wrist and breaks it. In addition to an emergency room visit, she needs surgery to repair the damage done to her wrist.
In this case, liability is pretty clear: the shopping center had plenty of notice that the floor needed repair, and they failed to take any action to replace the tile. The shopping center did not even place a sign around the tile to warn shoppers of its dangerous state. Thus, the shopping center is likely to be held liable, since it essentially neglected the dangerous condition for several weeks.
Notice of a hazard is one of the key issues in these cases. Whether it is spilled juice in a grocery store, ripped carpet in an entryway, or a pothole in a parking lot, a property owner creates a strong case for liability if there was notice of the hazard and no action was taken. However, if the hazard was only present for a short while—for example, if the spilled juice had only been on the floor for a few minutes before someone slipped and fell—then the victim will have a more difficult time arguing that the property owner should be liable.
How do victims prove how much notice the property owner had? There are several different types of evidence a personal injury attorney will seek—such as mall security camera footage, photographs, maintenance reports, other incident reports, witness statements, and several others. The personal injury attorney will use these pieces of evidence to create a timeline of when the hazard was created and when the injury occurred.
Our slip and fall attorneys are experienced in numerous claims
At Stein & Shulman, our injury attorneys know how to pursue slip and fall claims. With over four decades of experience, you can rely on our office to fight for maximum compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call 312-422-0500 or visit steinshulman.com.