Injured at American Dream Mall

Everyday some 20,000 people flock to the average mall in this country. Spending the day at a mall can be fun, with multiple stores to visit, and sometimes different foods to sample and rides and attractions to enjoy. Since the opening of New Jersey’s American Dream Mall in 2019, many people have enjoyed spending time there. It boasts over 100 stores, a theme park, indoor waterpark, and a host of other types of entertaining activities

No doubt, there is a lot of fun to be had at the American Dream Mall, but an injury that happens there can turn an enjoyable day into a troublesome one. Unfortunately, people get hurt at malls just as they do at other places. For example, four people were injured at the American Dream Mall when a decorative helicopter collapsed on them at the waterpark. If an accident injured you at this or any other mall, would you know how best to handle the situation? This article outlines some of the steps and considerations following such a scenario. 

Injuries Overview

When people think of injuries they can sustain, it’s easy to think of the most bizarre or extreme situations that cause catastrophic harm. While those do happen, a simple fall can also result in a serious injury. According to the CDC, each year three million people are treated at emergency rooms for falls, and one out of 5 such falls cause injuries like broken bones or a head injury. A simple fall can result in traumatic brain injuries. Any age group can be negatively impacted by a fall, but elderly people are even more susceptible to serious injuries when they fall. 

Some serious injuries caused by falls include: 

There are many reasons why a person can fall at a mall like the American Dream. The culprits might be wet floors, unkempt carpeting, uneven floors, issues with staircases or escalators, or ice in parking lots.

Duty of Care 

If injured at a mall, shoppers want to familiarize themselves with the legal principle known as the “duty of care” because it will play a role in determining who is responsible for their injuries. Duty of care means the owner or property manager is responsible for making their area safe for people. For example, in New Jersey, commercial and retail spaces are responsible for keeping their property safe for customers. 

A mall or store’s duty of care depends on the visitor’s legal status. Usually, the customer’s legal status is as an invitee or licensee. Invitees are people an owner invites into their space. Malls welcome people to visit and shop. Other shoppers are considered licensees, people who come to the mall to fulfill a need, and the mall consents to them being there. There are two other visitor statuses you can learn more about here

As invitees or licensees, malls have a duty of care for their customers. They need to ensure that they are:

  • Cleaned from spills or harmful items 
  • Well-maintained (e.g., floors in public spaces, escalators, elevators, doors should be safe and in good working order)
  • Free from ice, snow, or wet surfaces
  • Keeping retail stock in a safe and well-organized location
  • Using signs and other methods to warn customers of hazards

When shoppers come to the American Dream Mall, the mall and stores have a duty of care to keep them safe. If someone is injured there, they should consult with an attorney.


Once people know the duty of care owed to them, negligence must be determined. Negligence is when property managers or mall owners fail to use reasonable care resulting in shopper injury. When people are injured, they need to point out how the manager or owner was negligent. 

When doing this, one must take into account the person’s legal status on the property and premises liability. Premises liability is an area of the law that addresses people injured due to a dangerous condition on a property, in this case, a mall. The law expects properties to be maintained for visitors’ safety. 

The case Handleman vs. Cox is a good example of premises liability. The owner of J.J. White Diamond Diner allowed a salesman to come onto the property and sell to its employees. On one of the salesman’s visits, he fell down the steps and was injured. The duty of care was questioned in this case as well as the salesman’s legal status. Since the salesman was permitted to do business with the diner’s employees, the court determined he was a business invitee. This meant the owner had a duty of care to protect the salesman from unsafe conditions on the property. 

Who Is to Blame: The Store or Mall? 

Unlike single free-standing stores, malls have multiple businesses. For example, American Dream Mall has over 100 stores. This poses a dilemma for people who have suffered an injury inside the mall. Who owes them the duty of care? 

Although there are several factors that may come into play, the answer depends on precisely where the person was injured. The mall owners or property managers have a duty of care to their customers, like stores. Regarding common areas (outside of stores), mall owners have a responsibility to keep them clean and safe. Common areas include but are not limited to:

This is one reason why it’s good to review your situation with an attorney. They will know what questions to ask for determining who is at fault for an injury at a mall. 

Pursuing Compensation 

Injuries devastate both physically and financially. Seeking compensation for injuries is crucial because a victim should not have to pay out of pocket. There are two main ways to get compensation for mall accidents. Those would be insurance claims and lawsuits. But whether you make an insurance claim with the mall’s insurance company or sue the owner in court, there is a strong possibility that your case will be resolved by a “settlement,” an agreement between the parties to a dispute to resolve their differences by striking a bargain.

Insurance Claims 

Insurance is a standard protection for businesses to have. They can choose from many types of insurance, but commercial general liability insurance is the most common. In the event of an injury to a customer, the insurance plan covers or helps pay medical expenses or other damages. The insurance may also cover the settlement costs if the case goes to court. 

When the customer files a claim against a mall, it’s essential to have all the evidence to prove negligence. When such an accident occurs, try to take videos and photos of the scene. A picture is one of the best ways to show a hazardous condition and demonstrate the damage that has been done. Also, when seeking medical help, be sure to keep all medical records describing the extent of your injury. These things will help an attorney to build a strong case and negotiate the best possible settlement. 


Suing for damages is another way to get compensated for your injury and suffering. A lawsuit is a complicated process, and the average person doesn’t have the expertise to do it independently – without an attorney. 

An attorney will gather all of the evidence and file a personal injury lawsuit with the courts on behalf of the injured person.  If this is the compensation route needed – perhaps because the insurance company refuses to settle or is offering too little an amount – your attorney will need to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations. For New Jersey, that is within two years of the injury. That’s why it’s important to get the process underway as soon as possible following an injury at the mall.

Where to Find Help 

A day at the American Dream Mall is meant to be enjoyable, but if you suffer an injury, it could have both short- and long-lasting effects. Pursuing and receiving compensation for your injury is a necessity when the mall has been negligent. Our attorneys at Rosenblum Law have decades of experience in representing people who have been injured due to another’s negligence. We are ready to help you if you, too, have been hurt at this or any other mall. Contact us today for an initial consultation. 

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