Shopping Mall Assaults and Injuries
The Halperin Law Center represents victims who have been injured due to criminal activity. Many people believe that their only opportunity for justice is in the criminal court system. If you have been criminally assaulted and injured at a shopping mall, however, you may have a claim against the owner, operator and/or security company of that mall, or a claim against a merchant.
Our experienced Richmond personal injury attorneys have successfully held shopping mall owners, merchants, property managers, and security companies liable in civil court for injuries suffered by patrons.
We have handled cases involving individuals who have been:
Cases against businesses such as shopping malls and merchants involve a myriad of issues to be examined. If you think you may have such an injury claim against a mall or shopping center, be sure to contact an attorney who has had experience and success with these types of cases, such as the personal injury attorneys at the Halperin Law Center in Richmond.
SHOPPING MALL INJURIES IN VIRGINIA
In Virginia, third parties can be held civilly liable (or at fault) for the criminal acts of others under certain limited conditions. In order to establish liability for a viable case, there must be what is called a “special relationship” between the property owner and either the person who is injured or the criminal. The circumstances in which a special relationship can arise are very limited, however the business proprietor-invitee relationship (which applies to malls and shopping centers) is one of those relationships that may qualify. This means that if you were shopping or purchasing items from a specific store, there may be a special relationship.
The special relationship establishes a duty to warn or protect, and the type of relationship establishes what level of care the third party (in this case, the mall owner, property manager or security company) must exercise. Mall owners and operators in Virginia are required to use reasonable care to protect their patrons and guests from crime if that owner/operator has specific knowledge of prior violent criminal acts and a reasonable person could conclude that there is an “imminent danger or harm” to guests.
If these terms and determinations seem complex, it is because they are. With a multitude of legal issues to examine and interpret, making a case against a shopping mall for injuries suffered as a result of third-party criminal behavior is no easy task, and it is not one that you should undertake on your own. Many of the accidents and injuries suffered at malls involve more straight-forward premises liability cases. When it comes to injuries caused by criminal activity, however, an attorney experienced in these types of cases is almost always needed to navigate the complexities of a claim.
The focus in these cases is often negligent or inadequate security. The case will depend on the applicable standard of care, as well as the mall’s security measures, or lack thereof, put in place to protect their patrons and guests.
Your attorney will need to discover what knowledge the mall’s owners/operators or merchants had or should have had about the level and nature of crime in the area, what constitutes “imminent harm,” whether or not the nature of the business itself attracts or provides an environment conducive to violent crimes, and whether or not the entities should have anticipated the crime and prevented it by taking various security measures.
Security and property management expert witnesses are needed to review:
- Whether appropriate security measures were taken.
- Whether sufficient warnings were provided.
- Whether or not proper locks were installed on windows and doors.
- Whether adequate lighting was provided.
Establishing civil liability against business owners and property managers for the criminal acts of others is tough, but possible with the help of a skilled and experienced injury attorney. If you or a loved one have been injured by a criminal act or other accident at a shopping mall, retail store or convenience store in Virginia, fill out a free case evaluation form to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our Richmond personal injury lawyers.