It’s no secret that shopping is a popular activity in almost every community in California. However, most people that go to a shopping center probably think the greatest danger they face is overspending, not injury. Nobody expects to be one of the thousands of people injured in shopping center falls each year in the United States when they set foot on the property. Though store owners and shopping center owners have a duty to keep you safe, sometimes they drop the ball – security, maintenance, and repairs are expensive and time-consuming. However, this is no excuse to deliver potentially life-changing injuries to someone who just stopped in for a new pair of shoes. If you or a loved one have been injured on one of these properties, speak with an experienced Menifee shopping center falls lawyer to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Shopping Centers in Menifee
Menifee is the fastest growing city in Southwest Riverside County and seventh fastest growing city in Southern California, so it’s no surprise the population increase has caused new shopping venues to spring up around the area and existing shopping centers to renovate, expand, and add new tenants. The over 93,000 residents in town have several shopping centers to choose from:
- Menifee Countryside Marketplace
- Menifee Town Center
- Newport Crossing
- Menifee Lakes Plaza
These shopping centers house tenants that attract shoppers for a variety of reasons outside a traditional retail store; an LA Fitness gym, coffee shops, restaurants, banks, cell phone companies, and even pottery studios find homes in these centers. However, the different types of tenants pose different risks for falls – making Menifee shopping centers home to a nearly limitless risk of injury and resulting suits.
Menifee Property Owners’ Legal Duties
Any owner, manager, or caretaker of property has a legal duty to take reasonable care to maintain a safe premises free from hazards and adequately warn visitors of any unsafe conditions that do exist. This means shopping center owners and stores are responsible for keeping their business areas clean and safe for customers. They must use reasonable care to also inspect the premises to find hazards and either eliminate them or warn visitors; not uncovering and fixing an unsafe condition in a reasonable amount of time makes them negligent. However, if there’s a condition so obviously unsafe that reasonable people would see it and take steps to avoid it, they are not responsible for warning visitors.
Common Shopping Center Hazards
Unsafe and hazardous conditions have been defined broadly when it comes to premises liability. Though unsafe conditions can occur in almost any form, the setup and nature of shopping centers makes some risks more common. Personal injury claims for shopping center falls have come from:
- Uneven or cracked parking lot and sidewalk pavement
- Recently mopped floors without warning signs
- Spilled drinks
- Uneven floor mats
- Escalator malfunctions
- Unsecured electrical cords
- Ice and snow on sidewalks and in parking lots
Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
Shopping centers are usually corporation-owned businesses that lease space on their property to other businesses like retail clothing stores. Generally, corporate property owners have a legal duty to visitors on the premises’ common areas such as walkways, restrooms, food courts, elevators, areas outside stores, or parking lots. However, they are responsible for the safety of any visitors who sets foot on their property. Stores leasing space in the centers are responsible for the interior of their leased area.
In Menifee, if you fall and are injured at a shopping center, you may be eligible to make claims against multiple sources depending where the fall occurred. If you’re injured:
- In a common area, the shopping center’s management company or corporate owner
- In a store, the owner or management company of that retail store
- On defective equipment like an escalator, the manufacturer
- Anywhere due to an individual’s negligence, that person
For example, if you were injured in a retail store you may have claims against both the management company of the shopping center and the retail store. In this case, your primary claim would be against the retailer and the shopping center would be a secondary claim. However, if the injury was in a common area, you may only recover from the shopping center. An experienced Menifee shopping center falls attorney can help you understand your potential claims for compensation.
What is My Claim Worth?
It’s normal to wonder what compensation you might receive for your injuries. Once you can show negligence caused your fall and resulting harm, you may receive damages to make you whole for a number of injures. Courts may award compensatory damages to injury victims for, among other things:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Pain and suffering
In some cases, injury victims may be awarded additional damages to punish a defendant’s vile or reprehensible behavior and discourage others from engaging in similar conduct. These can be difficult to prove and are awarded at the court’s discretion, so working with experienced counsel is advisable to avoid legal pitfalls and put forward your best case for recovery.
Contact a Menifee Shopping Center Falls Attorney Today
Whether it’s a quick trip to the gym housed in a shopping center, Christmas shopping, or enjoying lunch at the food court, you deserve to visit every shopping center knowing you are being kept safe by watchful, responsible owners, managers, and caretakers. If you were injured on one of these properties, contact the experienced Menifee shopping center fall attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to protect your rights and take the first step in fighting for what you deserve.
Contact us at (866)-338-7079 or use our online Contact Page to set up a no-risk, no obligation case review today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. The initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our attorneys evaluate your situation and help you put your best case forward.
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