Think about how often you use a parking lot. Do you park in a lot near your home, at work, when you go to the store, when you go to the doctor’s office, or when you go out for fun? Now, think about whether you are safe each and every time you use a parking lot.
Parking Lot Risks and Injuries
Walking or driving through a parking lot or garage can be a risky proposition, and there are a variety of ways you may be injured including the following:
- Assaulted. The owner may be partly to blame for your assault injuries if they failed to provide you with reasonable and adequate security while you were on their property.
- Trip and fall. Owners have a duty to provide reasonably safe premises for people who use their properties. Therefore, if they knew or should have known about a condition that caused you to slip or trip and fall, and failed to fix the condition or warn you about it, they may have legal liability for your fall injury.
- Pedestrian accident. Sometimes the driver of the car that hit you will be liable for your injuries. However, the parking lot owner may bear some responsibility if the design of the lot was not reasonably safe and the lack of a safe design contributed to the crash.
If you are assaulted, if you fall, or if you are hit by a car, you may suffer serious injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injury. A brain injury can impact many different parts of your life such as cognition, vision, hearing, speech, and behavior.
- Spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury can leave you paralyzed or with a lack of sensation. The parts of your body that are impacted depend on the location of the spinal cord that is injured.
- Broken bones. Broken bones can be painful, may require surgery, and can have a significant impact on your activities of daily living.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries, such as injuries to organs, may be a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.
Every injury is unique and should be promptly diagnosed by a doctor so you can begin medical treatment as soon as possible.
Parking Lot Injuries Caused by Negligence
Parking lot owners owe a duty of care to people who are lawfully on their property. When parking lots owners breach that duty of care, serious incidents and injuries such as those described above may occur.
Some of the specific ways a parking lot owner may breach the duty of care include:
- Poor lighting. This could include lack of installed lighting or broken lights.
- Inadequate security. The specific security that is necessary depends on the location and design of the parking lot or garage.
- Inadequate maintenance of the property. Things like stairs, handrails, and fences, for example, must be reasonably maintained.
- Uneven surfaces or potholes. These hazards should be repaired, or warnings should be provided if the property owner knew, or should have known, about the risks.
- Failure to have a designated walkway. In some parking lots, this can put pedestrians at risk of being hit by cars.
- Blind spots in the lot. This can also put pedestrians at risk of being hit by cars.
- Inadequate signs or markings. This can create confusion, making a car or pedestrian crash more likely.
- Failure to maintain the handicapped spots according to code. People who use these spots may be at risk of injury if the spots are not appropriately designed or maintained.
If any of these things cause an injury, or if the parking lot owner fails to provide reasonable care in another way that results in injury, you may be able to pursue damages in a personal injury claim against the parking lot owner.
Contact an Experienced Premises Liability Trial Lawyer After a Parking Lot Injury
Property owners have a duty to protect you from the significant risk of injury created by known or reasonably foreseeable problems. If you were hurt because a property owner's negligence, you may be entitled to damages that include compensation for your medical bills, lost income, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Parking lot injury cases can be difficult to prove, and more than one party may be liable for your injuries. Additionally, insurance companies can be difficult to negotiate with and may treat you unfairly. An experienced premises liability trial lawyer can thoroughly investigate your claim and fight hard to get you the fair and just damages you deserve. To learn more about how to protect your recovery after an Austin-area parking lot accident injury, please contact the Larrick Law Firm PC today for a free, no-obligation consultation.