Most of us don’t think twice about getting out of a car and walking across a parking lot or garage to get to a retail location, school, or building. However, parking lots can be extremely dangerous and are the site of thousands of slip and fall accidents each year. A slip and fall can happen any time of year and result in very serious injuries.
As an attorney, I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the negligence of others every day. If you slip and fall in a parking lot, you may now be dealing with a broken arm or shattered wrist from trying to break your fall. Further, falling on your side or back can fracture your hip or tailbone. As a result, you’ll incur significant medical expenses and may miss work, thus limiting your income.
Determining liability for slip and fall accidents can be complicated. There are several questions to ask in determining who is responsible and whether you can be compensated.
Questions to ask after a parking lot injury:
Who’s responsible for the parking lot?
In a slip and fall case, it’s necessary to determine who is responsible for the condition of the parking lot. Is it the city? Or is the lot owned, managed, and maintained by a private individual or business?
The owners of parking lots and garages have a legal obligation to keep the property safe for anyone who may be walking through. Regular inspections are required to be sure dangerous conditions, including potholes or cracks that present tripping hazards and need to be addressed. If cracks and potholes have been present for a significant amount of time, the lot owner could be considered negligent.
What led to your slip and fall?
The reason for your fall is also relevant. For example, if you slipped due to clumsiness or ill-fitting footwear, you may be partially or fully at fault for your injuries.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents
Among the most frequent hazards in parking lots that lead to a slip and fall accident are:
- Poor lighting
- Wet, snow-covered surface
- Potholes and/or uneven pavement
- Cracked surfaces
- Standing water
Property owners and businesses have a duty to keep their properties reasonably safe and to alert guests of any dangers. This duty extends to their parking lots and walkways.
Fulfilling this duty requires regular inspections to identify dangerous conditions, regular removal of debris and hazards, and making repairs in a reasonable time.
If you were injured in a parking lot or parking garage, you may be able to hold the business or property owner responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
Determining the liable party in a parking lot slip and fall accident is more complicated than you may think.
Possible parties you may need to file a claim with include:
- The owner. The owner of a business has a duty to maintain the parking lot and walkway. When dangerous conditions are not corrected or steps are not taken to alert guests of a hazard, the owner is likely responsible for compensating a victim.
- Operators of a business. Those who rent the property for a restaurant, store, or some other business may face liability if their lease requires them to maintain and repair the parking lot.
- Apartment complex. The landlord is almost always responsible for the maintenance of the parking lot as a common area for all tenants and guests. They are liable if they neglect a hazardous condition.
- Government entity. If a city or other governmental entity is responsible for maintaining a public parking lot or walkway, you may need to seek compensation from them. However, governments have some immunity from being sued and may require special procedures in pursuing compensation.
Be safe and aware of your surroundings when parking in lots and garages.
As Chicago slip and fall accident attorneys, we help victims.
The attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner are knowledgeable and experts in representing those harmed by the negligence or carelessness of others. We know your rights and the applicable laws pertaining to slip and fall accidents. We are your advocates.
Large insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate. To deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you while you and your family concentrate on physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured from a fall in a parking lot, please call or contact me by email.