Every day most of us will use a parking lot or a parking garage for some purpose, whether it be shopping, going to a movie, or one of a number of other activities in our daily lives. Most of the time when we step out of our car to walk to our destination we pay no mind to the dangers we could be facing in those places.
However, everyone should be aware that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one out of every five car accidents occurs in parking garages and parking lots. In these instances if someone else’s negligence causes your injury, they’re responsible, or liable, for your damages.
Property owners have a legal duty of care (obligation) to keep their premises reasonably safe. This includes making regular inspections to identify and repair dangerous conditions and defects.
In the case of a trip and fall in a parking lot when a crack, pothole, or other dangerous condition is large enough to be easily seen, or when an employee or another person reports the danger, the courts will usually hold the owners liable for injuries sustained.
Further, according to a NHTSA study, each year, more than 9,000 pedestrians are injured or killed in parking lots or garages due to the negligent driving of other people. However, ineffectively placed stop, turn, and yield signs are problematic, too. So is inadequate signage or pedestrian cross-walk markings and speed control devices, i.e. speed bumps. When hundreds or even thousands of pedestrians and drivers come in close contact with each other in confined areas, the probability of pedestrian injuries skyrockets. Not only are the drivers liable for negligent driving, but the property owners are equally responsible for their poor signage. This negligence on the part of the property owner can lead to a potential claim against them.
If you or someone you know has been harmed in a parking garage or parking lot due to the negligent acts of others, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.