Slip and Fall in a Shopping Mall...
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Oct 23, 2009 the weather outside was heavy rain. My work is across the street from the mall. I happened to approach the mall doors as I noticed people inside, some walking around, others sitting. Shops inside the mall were not yet open as this was approx 8:30am and the mall officially opens at 9:00am.
A person (non-worker) who was inside the mall immediately opened the door and let me in the mall. (I did not knock to get in, he must have thought I would get very wet outside.) I entered the mall only to find the east side door locked from the inside and I was only planning to cut through to find a door that would actually let me out without backtracking.
I headed over to the door that would be nearest my exit point to get to my work across the street. Almost at the door, I slipped on a small amount of water but enough to go for a real fall. There were no caution or wet floor signs. I sprained my ankle very bad and felt like I was about to pass out.
After the mall medical assistants helped me into a chair and settle myself I limped out and went to my work where I put ice on my ankle and rested. Later on that evening while at home I was in pain so I awoke to get some pain killers and once in my kitchen, fainted - hitting the floor. My chin required 4 stitches, I bit right through my bottom lip and had a very slight concussion.
To date, my ankle has not healed completely. I have had physio appts a few times for it and require further visits. My chin has a visible scar. My doctor said the fall at home was likely due to the accident earlier on in the day.
Does this qualify for a claim against the shopping center mall and or their insurance/landlords? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Slip and Fall in a Shopping Mall...":
Your case poses a very interesting set of facts; The water that pooled in the mall may not have been there long enough for anyone to inspect, notice and/or warn. Property owners are responsible to make reasonable inspections and to warn of known hazards and dangers.
Due to the rain, it is possible that the property owners (or landlords) did not have the opportunity to reasonably inspect and subsequently warn. Assuming they did and were liable, they would be responsible for the foreseeable damages.
Foreseeability is the major problem with what occurred next. It is not foreseeable that you would sprain your ankle, faint some time later and harm your chin and lip. A defendant can only be responsible for the things they can likely foresee.
You will need to submit an incident report to the mall and follow that up with a claim to the mall insurance company. They will tell you almost immediately whether they are accepting or denying liability.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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