My friend who was 7 months pregnant (on the time of the accident) fell when she's about to get up on the bench in the food court mall. She hit her head in the glass panel. The mall called for a paramedics because she's having a contraction. They brought her to the hospital and did some examinations, ultrasound, blood works and CT scan (which I don't know if it's safe for her baby). She had to be confined for evaluations and they made sure that she will be ok when they discharge her. After monitoring for 24 hour the contraction stopped and they said that the scan result is ok (no head injury). My friend used her insurance on her stay in the hospital and now the Fire Department is asking her payment for their service. Now, can she still get claims without injuries.
I am a California lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County. Your friend may have a valid claim against the mall if the mall is legally responsible for her fall. Why did she fall? How did she fall?
If you were on a jury, and a person like your friend was asking for money from the mall, would you award money?
The law states that the mall owners are negligent if they fail to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. In deciding what is reasonable care, one may consider, among other factors, the following:
(a) The location of the property;
(b) The likelihood that someone would come on to the property in the same manner as [name of plaintiff] did;
(c) The likelihood of harm;
(d) The probable seriousness of such harm;
(e) Whether [name of defendant] knew or should have known of the condition that created the risk of harm;
(f) The difficulty of protecting against the risk of such harm; [and]
(g) The extent of [name of defendant]’s control over the condition that created the risk of harm
As I am licensed in Florida and Vermont, I cannot comment specifically on California law. However, generally, a business has a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. You do not state what caused your friend to fall. You would need to show that the business breached its duty of care and caused the fall. Without that, there is no liability and you cannot collect any damages. If, however, the food court maintained what is called "medical payments" or similar insurance coverage, it is possible that your friend could have her medical bills paid under that type of coverage, which does not involve a finding of fault. However, your friend's insurance company will look to be repaid from this source of funds for the medical bills.
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