Question: I was injured in an accident at a mall in Pennsylvania. What are my legal rights to sue the mall?
A: Under Pennsylvania accident and injury laws, you may be able to make a claim for financial compensation for your injuries. This applies to a variety of accident and injury scenarios, such as:
- slip, trip and fall accidents,
- criminal conduct (assaults, muggings, etc.), and
- other mishaps and accidents like an escalator or elevator accident.
What are your legal rights to sue for a mall accident in PA?
Under Pennsylvania injury law, malls owe certain duties to shoppers and employees of stores located inside malls. That duty requires malls to do the following:
- maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition,
- inspect the premises for unknown and unreasonable dangers, and
- resolve or at least warn of any unreasonably dangerous conditions.
These requirements apply to any business which is open to the general public, such as grocery stores, retail stores, bars/restaurants, etc.
Related: Pennsylvania Mall Employees Injured Due to Criminal Activity – What is the Law?
A business like a shopping mall may be liable for negligence that results in an injury to a shopper, an employee of a mall store, etc.
Who is liable in a mall accident case?
Mall accidents and injuries commonly result in successful lawsuits against mall operators, owners, and other entities like a mall parking lot security company. Shopping malls, especially large ones, are often operated by multiple companies. In addition, liability for a mall accident may be shared by multiple parties. In a mall accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania, it is not uncommon for multiple parties to be sued, including the mall owner (landlord), the property management company, and an independent contractor such as a cleaning or waste management company.
What is the time deadline to file a lawsuit?
Pennsylvania injury law imposes a strict 2 year statute of limitations for lawsuits like a mall accident lawsuit. This deadline applies to any individual who was over the age of 18 at the time of the accident. Therefore, an adult who is injured in a mall accident has 2 years from the date of the accident to file suit. Failure to do so within the 2 year deadline usually results in dismissal of the case. There are some exceptions; however, they are rarely applied.
Minors get a different statute of limitations deadline. Someone who was under the age of 18 when the accident occurred has 2 years after they turn 18 (i.e., their 20th birthday).
What financial compensation can you recover?
Claims for financial compensation vary and depend on the facts and severity of the injuries. In mall accident lawsuits, financial compensation claims may be made for:
- medical bills,
- lost wages, and
- pain and suffering.
How is a case resolved and how long does it take?
Injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania are almost always resolved by way of settlement or agreement between the parties. About 1 out of every 10 cases, however, will be resolved by way of a trial. As a general rule, lawsuits are usually resolved within 1-2 years from the time they are filed. This excludes any time for appeals.
For more information, please visit our premises liability law library or call us at 800-220-7600.
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