At some point, everyone will need to walk across a parking lot to get into a school, retail location or other structure. Most people don’t even think twice about getting out of their car and walking across the parking lot or garage to get to their destination. However, parking lots can be extremely dangerous and are the site of thousands of slip and fall accidents each year.
The owners of parking lots and garages have a legal obligation to keep those areas safe for anyone who may be walking through them. Regular inspections are required to be sure that any dangerous conditions, including potholes or cracks that could present a tripping hazard, are addressed. It is important to remember that it may be impossible for every new crack or hole to be identified immediately, so tripping over a hole or crack may not automatically make the parking lot owner liable. However, if regular inspections have not been performed or if the hole or crack has been there for a significant amount of time, the parking lot owner could be liable.
There are many different causes of parking lot accidents. Someone could be injured if another driver fails to pay attention or drives recklessly. Poor lighting can also lead you to trip and fall. Signage that is inadequate or confusing can lead to injuries as well. If the parking garage has multiple levels, stairways without railings could also lead to an injury. Wheel stops that have been cracked or broken so that small pieces of concrete are in the walkway can lead to injury as can snow or ice that has not been cleared. In many of these cases, if the parking lot owner was negligent, you may be eligible for a premises liability claim.
According our slip and fall attorneys, proving negligence in a parking lot injury can be difficulty. In some cases, courts have ruled that if a parking lot hazard was dangerous enough that the owner should have fixed it immediately, you should have been able to avoid it. For example, if there was a large pothole that you tripped over, you may not be eligible to file a claim as the court could rule that you should have seen the hole before you tripped. If you do decide to pursue a claim, you will need photographs and video of the location of the accident as well as witness statements. You must seek medical care as soon after the injury as possible in order to document them. If there are no injures, the court will rule that there were no damages so you cannot collect. For this reason, you must have documentation of the injuries you suffered and what treatments are necessary.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident, contact the slip and fall attorneys at Lundy Law to see if you are eligible for a premises liability claim. You can arrange for your initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or by completing the simple form online.