David Azizi has practiced personal injury and slip and fall law for 22 years. In that time, he has seen many slip and fall and trip and fall parking lot accidents. He is recognized as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, according to Expertise.com and Super Lawyers. This is appropriate since David wins nearly 100 percent of his cases, something he does by diligence and a superlative knowledge of the law. Call him if you were injured in a parking lot at (800) 991-5292 today. We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Parking Lot Owner Responsibility
Parking lot owners or the person in charge of the lot have a duty to the lot’s customers. That duty of care means that the parking lot must be kept free of unsafe conditions that could lead to tripping or slipping and falling.
The owner must be aware of the dangerous condition or have caused it. The amount of time to discover the condition must be reasonable. This is generally accomplished through regular inspections. However, if no effort is made to inspect the premises, the dangerous condition will persist and become a parking lot accident liability for the owner/person in control. In addition, if the condition was reported and was ignored, this can be construed as a negligent act. In the event a dangerous condition cannot be fixed immediately, warning signs should be used or the area of the parking lot should be closed off to traffic, including pedestrian traffic.
Common Dangers in a Parking Lot
Dangerous pavement issues include:
- Cracked pavement
- Uneven pavement
- Oil spills
- Water accumulation
- Damaged or unjoined or cracked wheel stops
Dangerous conditions due to inadequate lighting: This makes it less possible for customers to see slick spots or wheel stops and speed bumps once they leave their vehicle. Indoor garages rely on good lighting, and many parking lots are used by 24-hour stores such as Walmart or airports. Without making sure the lighting is adequate, customers are more likely to have slip, trip and fall accidents.
Dangerous stairwells and elevators: Stairwells and elevators need to be well lit and kept free of debris that can lead to trip and fall accidents. The stairs must be inspected frequently for spilled substances that could cause a slip and fall. Elevator maintenance is important and may be the responsibility of a third party. The elevator must be flush with the floor outside the elevator, something that, if ignored, could result in a trip and fall accident.
Broken wheel stops: Wheel stops are the concrete shapes that are placed at the head of a parking space. Since they are made of concrete, they sometimes crack and break apart. If the broken piece is away from its normal position, car occupants can trip over it when walking away from their vehicle.
Speed bumps: These are placed in a parking garage or lot to discourage speeding. If it is dark or the bump is not painted a vivid color, a trip and fall injury can result. Even if the bump was painted a contrasting color in the past, it may have faded. Frequent inspections and good lighting avert such accidents.
Comparative Negligence in Parking Lot Accidents
Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, every accident needs to go through the prudent person test. This means that compared to a prudent person, you may be partially responsible for your accident.
Let’s say that you were injured when you tripped over an adequately laid speed bump. The bump may be partially faded but the lighting is good, and a prudent person would be aware that speed bumps are placed in the area.
Since a prudent person might not have walked in the area where the bumps are due to traffic, and if they did, they would have exerted caution and looked carefully to avoid tripping, the victim in this situation may be partially responsible for the accident. Although you can still collect damages, the degree to which you are responsible will be deducted from the total amount collected.
It is important to gather as much evidence as you can. This includes taking a picture of the situation with your cell phone and talking to witnesses if they saw you fall or were aware of the injuries after the fall. In both instances, obtain the witnesses’ contact information, and ask them to write down what they saw or record it in a cell phone video. Ask if they were aware of similar situations since many people use the same parking lot frequently. Don’t forget to make an incident report, and get a copy of it.
Get emergency medical care if you need it. If not, make sure to see your doctor the same day. Tell your doctor or the physician in the emergency room that you were in an accident. Get a copy of the medical records since this not only documents your injuries but also serves to link the injury to the accident.
When you return home, put the clothes and shoes you wore in a plastic bag, and keep them as tangible evidence. Take pictures of any bruises or cuts on your body due to the accident. Start a diary and note how you feel each day.
Turn to the Law Offices of David Azizi If You’ve Been Injured in a Parking Lot
If you have suffered a slip, trip and fall accident in an indoor or outdoor parking lot, David Azizi can help you get the compensation you need. Don’t hesitate to call any hour of the day, every day of the week. We will set up a free, no-obligation case review, and there is never a fee until you win. Call (800) 991-5292. If you cannot get to our offices, we will be glad to come to you.