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Recently we have seen tourists and other shoppers falling and getting hurt because outlet malls and even theme parks are not complying with the law by properly maintaining their public stores and parking areas. Some of these injuries are very severe and involve complicated fractures and surgeries. The tragic part of it all is that the injuries could be prevented if the stores would just follow the Florida building codes and comply with normal safety standards. For example, the building codes prohibit cracks and ledges on walkways that create trip hazards. Yet many times we see holes and other obstructions in sidewalks and parking lots.

To add to the problem store owners deliberately draw the attention and eyes of shoppers away from the floor and up to the shelves where they sell their products. While there is nothing wrong with this marketing method, it does create an extra duty of care on the store to keep the floor clean and unobstructed so that distracted shoppers will not trip.

In some cases a shop will leave trip hazards like cords and rope on the floor and then blame the customer for looking at the shelves instead of the floor. It is important to watch out for yourself but if you do fall you must take actions to protect yourself after the fall. Take photos of the area, contact witnesses and get the witness name and number. Many times the store or theme park will not record the identifies of witnesses that do not help them. Finally, contactg a lawyer who can work with experts that know the building codes and can look for the presence of code violations that caused the fall.

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