What Happens if You or a Loved One Are Badly Hurt in a Parking Lot?
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and all that comes with it. Buying a tree, decorating the house, putting up lights, going to parties, and, of course, buying gifts for the special people in your life. It truly is a joyous time of the year. And people certainly appear to be happy to get back to the shopping malls and their favorite big box stores. But, unfortunately, accidents can and do happen in the parking lots of Georgia’s retail stores. So please be careful when walking to and from your car while holiday shopping. Possibly nothing could ruin your holiday spirit more than getting hurt in a parking lot.
Parking Lot Hazards
Traffic is the most common and well-known parking lot hazard. Obviously, parking lots are more crowded this time of year. People are stressed out looking for the perfect parking spot, or one at all. Therefore, drivers can be more distracted than usual which puts pedestrians and other drivers at a higher risk. Consequently, pedestrians should walk with more caution and focus, especially leaving stores with larger packages that could limit visibility.
In addition to traffic, there are many other parking lot hazards that could cause a serious pedestrian slip, trip, and fall injury. According to the National Safety Council, America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, and through our experience, parking lot injuries can happen for the following reasons:
- Inadequate pavement striping
- Cracked pavement and sidewalks
- Uneven water drains and sewers
- Ice and snow
- Poor lighting
- Unsafe stairs and broken handrails
The last parking lot hazard is criminal activity. Shoppers can be victims of robbery and assault. Therefore, try to park in well-lit areas and pay close attention to your surroundings.
No Fault of Your Own
If you or a friend or family member fall victim to any of these parking lot hazards, you may have legal rights if your injuries were caused by the negligence of others. For instance, if you were hit by a car and the driver is at fault, you could recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering, and other damages. If your injuries are so severe that they threaten to alter your life permanently or cause death, there could also be a third-party claim against the parking lot’s owner or property manager if dangerous conditions contributed to the accident.
Likewise, if you are injured by falling, tripping, or slipping, you may have a claim under the legal theory of premises liability. Basically, the property owner or manager has a legal duty of care to provide shoppers with a safe environment. Therefore, if they fail to remove slippery ice, repair broken sidewalks, or have sufficient lighting, they breach this duty of care. As a result, you could hold them responsible for your injuries. And in certain circumstances, the property owner or manager can be held responsible if you are hurt in a crime. For example, if they have a history of criminal activity in their parking lot, they need to take action to protect their customers. This may include installing better lighting or surveillance cameras and hiring security personnel.
Talk to a Lawyer
Figuring out who is at fault for your parking lot injury is not an easy task. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta can identify all the responsible parties when you get hurt in a parking lot. And that’s what The Baer Law Firm does every day. It is our goal to hold those responsible for your injuries by getting you the compensation that you deserve. This will allow you to get your life back on track. If you or a loved one is hurt in a parking lot, please contact The Baer Law Firm or call us at 404.THE.BAER (404.843.2237).
Attorney Bryan Baer has twenty (20) years of legal experience representing clients in serious and catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases. He has been first chair in more than a dozen twelve-person jury trials on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Recognized as a leader in his legal community, he is frequently asked to speak at legal seminars on trial topics ranging from “Best Practices in Voire Dire” to “Maximizing Damages at Trial” as well as insurance issues such as “Navigating the Insurance Landscape” and “Injury Demands & Negotiations.” Learn more here.