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Slip and Fall Parking Lot Settlements

Driving on the roads can get hectic, so it’s natural to breathe a sigh of relief once you reach the parking lot of your destination. You may not give a second thought to these dedicated areas for our automobiles. However, the few yards of pavement you must traverse to get inside can be the source of a life-altering injury. 

Parking lots are designed to give our vehicles a haven from oncoming traffic and keep the roadways safer, but they present hazards if they are improperly maintained. From slick surfaces to large deformities, neglected parking lots can threaten health and safety. If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall caused by hazardous parking lot conditions, keep reading to learn more about slip and fall parking lot accidents, slip and fall parking lot settlements and how you can prepare your case if you’ve been injured. 

Establishing a Duty of Care in Slip and Fall Parking Lot Settlements

Whenever you take care of your essential errands, you should be able to enter and exit a business safely. If a company is going to keep its doors open, it should provide a safe avenue for travel to the store from your car. The property owner or manager has a duty of care to maintain an area where they expect customers to walk.  

A slip and fall in a parking lot can result in several significant injuries, including:

  • Bone bruises, fractures and breaks
  • Lacerations
  • Soft-tissue damage, such as muscle and ligament tears
  • Brain or spinal cord injury

Signs of negligence can be demonstrated in several ways and are usually visible in the parking lot’s condition. If signs are apparent, the property owner or manager may be considered negligent and could be held responsible for your injury. A few examples include:

  • Ice or snow on the parking lot with no salt or sand to reduce accumulation
  • Large cracks or potholes in the pavement and sidewalks
  • Obstructive elements placed in a walkway without signage
  • Open maintenance holes or other construction spaces that are not marked

Let’s look at the hazards that could cause serious injury. 

Winter Weather Slips, Trips and Falls in the Parking Lot

Winter weather events are stressful, and in fact, they lead all weather-related events in the number of injuries caused. It is difficult to travel across snow or ice-covered terrain. Once you safely navigate to your destination to take care of crucial errands, you may have to cross a parking lot full of hidden slipping hazards. Even days after the snow or ice has passed, refrozen ice can be just as slippery and blend in with the pavement. 

There are certain criteria to assess when looking at your slip-and-fall case. Here are a few questions you can ask when determining if the property manager or business was negligent in your injury:

  • Did the property manager take reasonable steps to reduce the accumulation of ice and snow, like using ice melt or a snow plow?
  • Was it precipitating when you arrived at the store, and did they have reasonable time to remove the ice or snow?
  • Was there any signage or other notification indicating that the walking path would be slick?

You need to take note of every element that led to your injury on the parking lot. While the ice is notorious for causing slip and falls, other hazards can be the culprit in warmer temperatures. 

Damage to Parking Lot Surface

Like sidewalks and roads, parking lots wear down over time. If they are not adequately maintained, parking lots can produce substantial potholes and cracks in the pavement. These deformities make it easy to get hurt. If the defects in the parking lot are substantial, the owner needs to spend adequate time and money to maintain the property. 

You shouldn’t have to account for potholes that could cause a trip and bodily harm. Damage to the parking lot’s surface can be exacerbated by poor lighting. If a parking lot doesn’t have proper lights, you may be unable to see a deep pothole in your walking path. Regardless of the cause, what should you do if you’ve been hurt while walking across a parking lot?

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Parking Lot Slip and Fall

If you’ve experienced an injury walking across a parking lot to and from your vehicle, it’s essential to do the following:

  • Call for medical assistance – Like with any serious injury, a parking lot slip and fall requires an evaluation by a medical professional. You want to see someone as soon as possible to reduce the time between your initial injury and the diagnosis. A tight timeline can help you maintain the parking lot’s poor conditions as the cause of your injury. 
  • Take images of the site of your injury and write down the details of the accident. Getting any type of photographic evidence of the poorly maintained parking lot is critical to success. Documenting your accident is an excellent idea as well. You want to make sure you write down what happened while it is fresh in your mind. This helps you maintain consistency in your details and your account of the events later on. 
  • Contact and excellent personal injury lawyer. You shouldn’t have to deal with a negligent business alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you each step of the way with your personal injury case. 

If you’ve experienced a serious accident on a parking lot and need a personal injury or premises liability lawyer, the team at Eng & Woods can help. Visit our contact page today to get started.

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  • Columbia Office
    1000 West Nifong Boulevard, Building 7
    Suite 201
    Columbia, Missouri 65203
    Phone: 573-874-4190
    Fax: 573-874-4192
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