The Halloween decorations and candy are off the shelves and they have decked the malls with bells, bows, and balls. Christmas tunes are piped throughout the stores and Santa’s big chair is awaiting his arrival.
Santa and his helpers are not the only ones anticipated as seasonal arrivals at the many Florida shopping malls. The pressure for providing gifts and the extra cash and gift cards in purses and pockets motivates another holiday harbinger – the thief. When the holidays are getting close, the crime rate at malls rises with the tide of shoppers.
People become distracted by their gift list and all the holiday promotions, providing easier targets for predators, cons, and crooks. Along with theft, violent crimes such as assault, rape and., abductions also increase during the holidays. Shoppers are often forced to park in remote sections of the crowded lot or in poorly lit areas, making them easy prey. Children have easily lured away from their distracted parents in stores. Planning your shopping with an emphasis on safety first is the best way to avoid becoming a victim.
Women should always carry their pocketbook across their chests and closed. Never leave your bag in the child seat of a shopping cart. It takes a split second distraction, to provide an opportunity for theft. Men should carry their wallets in the front pocket of their pants, rather than the rear.
Shopping Mall owners have the highest duty of protection and care for those who are invited onto the property, which includes shoppers, under Florida premises liability law. An owner must maintain the premises in reasonably safe condition and the invitee must be provided warnings of those areas that are not safe. A shopper who is the victim of a crime, especially a crime of violence where an injury occurred, could hold the shopping mall legally responsible if security was lacking, lighting was inadequate or surveillance equipment was not working, as examples.
If you should become the victim of a crime at a Florida shopping mall notify the proper authorities, such as the police and mall security, immediately. If you were hurt, seek medical attention right away, even if your injuries seem minor. Then retain the services of a qualified Florida premises liability attorney.
A Florida premises liability lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading up to, during and following the crime. Surveillance tapes will be examined, the presence or lack of security determined and witnesses will be interviewed. As the victim of a crime, you may be entitled to compensatory damages.
Dolman Law Group is a Florida personal injury law firm that wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season. If you were the victim of a shopping mall crime or were injured on the mall property, call 727-451-6900 for a free evaluation of your case.