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June 18th, 2013

Is a mall liable for an accident that happens in the parking lot?

Under Pennsylvania law, malls, shopping centers, grocery stores, etc. may be liable for incidents that occur in the parking lot. This includes fall down (slip/trip) accidents and criminal acts of third parties. Who the actual defendant is will depend on who conducts maintenance or management of the parking lot and/or who owns the parking lot. Malls are generally operated by companies, so that company could be liable, in addition to the actual mall owner, parking lot operators, security companies, etc. Learn about businesses and the different duties owed under Pennsylvania business accident liability law.

Generally, the theories of liability include negligent maintenance, negligent security, and/or negligent hiring. Here are two common scenarios in which a mall would probably be liable for an incident that happens in the mall parking lot:

1. Mall patron trips over a large hole in the asphalt of a parking space when exiting from a vehicle. Due to the poor lighting of the parking lot, it is difficult to see the hole at night;

2. Mall patron is mugged on their way back to their car after visiting the mall. Over a several month period prior to the incident, there were a slew of robberies and assaults of patrons in the mall parking lot; however the mall does nothing about it and does not even bother to put up warning signs in the parking lot to let patrons know about the problem.

Assessing liability requires careful analysis of the facts and legal issues in the case. It is important to contact a business liability lawyer as soon as possible.

Related articles:

Philadelphia Business, Mall and Store Liability Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in the parking lot of a mall or store and would like to discuss your case with one of our premises liability lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

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