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July 11th, 2014

Liability in Grocery Store/Mall Accidents, By a Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer

Retail store accidents and mishaps are very common, considering that everyone shops at places like grocery stores and shopping malls. Pennsylvania has its fair share of grocery store chains and large shopping malls. The King of Prussia Mall is one of the largest malls in the country and is located just outside of Philadelphia.

Below is a discussion of liability in the context of the 3 most common types of grocery store/mall accidents.

More: Store Liability for Accidents in Pennsylvania – Who Pays for Damages

Slip, Trip & Fall Accidents

Fall down accidents are one of the most common types of injury accidents which occur at retail stores like grocery stores and shopping malls. Slip, trip and fall accidents often occur in the following areas:

  • parking lots,
  • aisles,
  • bathrooms, and
  • near eating areas.

Trip and fall accidents often occur in parking lots due to uneven walking areas, potholes or other issues, such as snow and ice accumulations.

Related: Trip & Fall Accidents on Grocery Store or Shopping Mall Sidewalk in Philadelphia – What You Should Know

Aisle fall accidents can involve trip and fall and slip and fall accidents. For instance, someone walking through an aisle in a grocery store may slip on water or food, or may trip on a merchandise display.

Bathrooms and eating areas account for a high number of fall down accidents, usually slip and fall accidents. Water and food left on floors can cause unsuspecting customers to slip and fall.

Liability in fall down accidents depends on whether there is sufficient evidence that the operator of the store was negligent. Just because water was left on the floor does not mean that the store was negligent. Negligence in Pennsylvania is usually defined as the failure to do something you should do or doing something other reasonable people wouldn’t do. In grocery store and mall fall down cases, proving liability often requires evidence that the owner/operator knew about the problem but failed to take appropriate corrective action.

Parking Lot Auto Accidents

Parking lot auto accidents usually occur in two ways: car-pedestrian accidents and car-car accidents. A car may strike a pedestrian walking into or out of a store. These kinds of accidents are often very serious and involve major injuries.

Liability in parking lot auto accident cases is usually relatively clear. The driver who hit a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk will probably be found liable. However, it is important to note that in parking lot auto accident cases, the retail store owner/operator may also be held liable if it can be proven that a defective condition or a defect in the design of the parking lot contributed to the accident. For instance, the failure to post speed limit signs or stop signs may constitute a defective condition.

Merchandise Accidents

Whether in a shopping mall or a grocery store, customers may become injured when a merchandise display collapses, or they may become injured when merchandise falls from shelves.

Merchandise accidents generally occur because someone simply wasn’t paying attention to shelves, displays, etc. For example, a child climbs on a merchandise display meant for children and is injured when the display collapses on him. Here, the store would probably be liable if there is evidence that the store manager failed to use safety straps to strap the display to the wall.

Merchandise accidents often result in liability for the owner/operator of the store, so long as the injured individual was not horsing around with the merchandise or display in an unreasonable manner. If a customer ignores clear signs not to touch a merchandise display and is injured after horsing around and causing it to fall, the customer would probably be unsuccessful in a case against the store.

Grocery Store/Mall Accident Legal Help

If you were injured in a grocery store or mall accident in the Pennsylvania or New Jersey areas and would like a free case assessment, please call our office at Click To Call.

DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.