When parking lot injuries are caused by negligence, victims can sue for damages to cover their medical bills, pain, suffering, and more. Who gets sued will depend on how the accident occurred. In some cases, injury victims may have cases against one party. In others, it may be possible to sue multiple parties.
While a premises liability lawyer can answer this question after hearing more about your situation, here is a look at the parties commonly liable for parking lot injuries.
3 Parties Who Cause Parking Lot Injuries (& Who Get Sued for Them!)
After you get hurt in a parking lot, it’s not always easy to know what happened and who’s responsible. Your immediate concern should always be your health and obtaining emergency medical treatment if you suffer serious parking lot injuries.
Next, it’s important to figure out fault. This can require more investigations, along with an experienced lawyer from Bell & Pollock, P.C., to help victims determine when one or more of the following parties should be sued over parking lot injuries.
About 1 in 5 car accidents—and 1 in every 6 pedestrian accidents—happens in a parking lot. Some of these crashes are fender benders. Many cause serious damage and injuries, especially when bigger cars or fully loaded 18-wheelers are involved.
Parking lots are so often the site of motor vehicle accidents because of:
- Motorists’ misbehaviors: Drivers tend to give in to distraction and be less likely to follow the rules in parking lots. In fact, motorists are far more likely to ignore stop signs, pick up cellphones, and drive across lanes of traffic in parking lots (when compared to roads and highways).
- Pedestrian misbehaviors: Motorists aren’t the only ones to overlook the rules in parking lots. Pedestrians can also be apt to jaywalk while talking on a cellphone, crossing lanes of traffic without looking or waiting, and doing other things that can elevate the risk of accidents and injuries.
When parking lot car accidents happen, the negligent driver(s) will likely be at fault. They may not be the only ones, however. Depending on the features of the parking lot itself, one or more of the following parties may also be liable.
2. Property Owners or Managers
These parties are responsible for keeping parking lots safe for the public to use. That means making sure the parking lot is:
- Safe: Security guards, proper nighttime lighting, sidewalks, and/or crosswalks can all be key safety features for parking lots. When lots lack these or other essential safety features, accidents can happen. And property owners can hold at least some liability for those accidents and victims’ injuries.
- Easy to navigate: Unobstructed signage, clear paint on the blacktop, sufficient space for lanes, and/or other features can be essential to the safe flow of traffic. While parking lot design and construction can impact how easy and safe it is to navigate lots, so too can ongoing maintenance or a lack thereof.
- Free of obstructions: From potholes and shopping carts to tree branches, snow and ice, and other hazards, there are various things that can make parking lots risky. Property owners or managers are responsible for making addressing these hazards so they don’t harm those using parking lots.
Sometimes, property owners or managers contract management of a lot out to some third party. Signs may be posted in lots managed by third parties, along with contact phone numbers and other info. If you are ever hurt in a parking lot and notice one of these signs, take pictures. The posted information may be crucial in the future.
Here, it’s important to note that third-party management may not be the way in which contractors who can be liable for parking lot injuries. Contractors who take care of some aspect of a parking lot may also to blame if their oversights or negligence causes harm. Some examples include (and are not exclusive to):
- Landscape maintenance contractors if they fail to remove overgrown foliage or trim trees that block lights or end up falling on electrical wires
- Snow and ice removal contractors if they pile snow in dangerous places
- Surveillance and security workers if they fail to properly monitor parking lots
How Do I Get a Parking Lot Injury Lawsuit Started?
Contact a premises liability attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. We can review the facts of your case and point out your best options for financial recovery.
Call (720) 613-6687 or email us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.