Anyone with children will tell you that watching a son or daughter suffer is one of the most gut-wrenching traumas a parent can go through. Not only is the sight of your injured child horrifying, you feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness. You’d do anything to make it better, but sometimes you can’t. These tragedies are even more heartbreaking when they’re preventable.
We expect a reasonable amount of safety provided by property owners, but what happens when that responsibility is neglected? When safety precautions are ignored and people are hurt because of it, we have premises liability lawsuits. These allow anyone injured on someone else’s property to seek compensation for injuries incurred there.
One Illinois boy had to have 18 stitches after an awning at a hobby store broke and fell on him. His father was sitting in a car in the parking lot when he saw the awning fall. He rushed to his little boy and, flinging the awning to the side, saw that his son had a 3-1/2-inch cut on his head.
After the fact, the store owner admitted that the awning was old and said mall employees were making sure they were secure. This may prevent future accidents, but it should have been done before someone got hurt.
If the family decides to sue, many might say it’s frivolous. But do you have an expectation of safety when you visit a store? Should you pay medical bills for damage inflicted by someone else’s negligence?
A Massachusetts attorney could look at several factors to determine liability. Was the awning the property of the store owner or the mall? Did anyone know that the awnings were dilapidated and posed a risk? If so, who failed to do anything about it?
If you’ve been injured thanks to the negligence of a store or mall, you do have rights. An attorney in Massachusetts can explain them to you and help you decide the best course of action.
Source: nydailynews.com, “SEE IT: Awning falls on boy outside hobby store in suburban Chicago,” Joel Landau, May 26, 2014