Can I File a Lawsuit if I Fall in a Parking Lot?
If you have sustained injuries after tripping and falling in a parking lot, you may be wondering who to hold liable and whether you should sue the liable party or not. The truth of the matter is, the property owner has the responsibility of ensuring their premises are free from any hazardous conditions that may hurt any visitor. This is in line with premises liability law, which states that property owners are responsible for any injuries that occur on their property.
Property owners should ensure their premises are properly maintained by fixing slippery floors, repairing any pavement cracks and crevices, ensuring there is adequate lighting, tightening loose handrails, and ensuring there is proper signage in the parking areas. Failure to do so will be considered negligence.
Therefore, if you had an accident on someone’s property and you sustained injuries because of their negligence, you can file a lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve. Moreover, even if the owner did not know about the dangerous condition that resulted in your accident but should’ve known, they will be held liable.
For instance, if you slide and hit the ground because the floors were covered in ice, your attorney can demonstrate that the owner of the property should’ve known about the dangerous condition because of local weather news. Moreover, an experienced attorney can show that the management should’ve known that, based on the normal floor conditions, it could have become more slippery and unsafe for use.
In addition to that, the management should have solved the problem by either shoveling the ice or pouring salt on it to protect any visitors. Alternatively, they should have put up warning signs to warn visitors to be careful when walking or driving on ice to avoid skidding or sliding. If the owners did not take any precautionary measures to avert any impending incidents, the affected party has grounds to sue. There are several hazards that can cause someone to slip and fall in a parking lot, as provided by Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA.
Pavements that are uneven or have cracks and potholes can cause you to lose your footing and hit the ground.
Sometimes, people can lose their balance if they are walking in poorly lit areas where their vision is hindered. Property owners should ensure there is adequate lighting inside and outside their premises.
Confusing and inadequate signage
Some road signs which have been inadequately placed can confuse both drivers and pedestrians. If there is a dangerous condition that can cause cars to skid or visitors to slide, there should be adequate signage to warn them to be careful when using the area.
If you are planning to file a lawsuit against the property owner, you should immediately do the following to strengthen your claim and increase the chances of getting more compensation for damages you sustained.
Get medical help at a hospital
The first thing you must do after getting injured is to get treated by a medical professional in a health center. This will enable the professional to tend to your wounds and you will also be able to document how you got injured and the wounds you sustained in the incident. The medical records will prevent any defendants from claiming that you got wounded in another way and will also be used to calculate the compensation you need.
Take a lot of pictures
After the incident, take a lot of close-up and wide-angle pictures. Moreover, you should take pictures in all directions and ensure you capture the hazardous condition that caused you to lose your footing. The pictures will act as evidence to strengthen your claim and will also prevent the defendant from fixing the hazard and denying there was any problem in the first place.
File an incident report
Inform the property owner about the incident and fill out the incident form if you are able to. The incident form will help to create a timeline of the incident and also act as evidence.
Gather information from witnesses
You should collect the names, contacts, and numbers of the witnesses. They can help to corroborate your story by sharing their narrations and accounts.
You should safely store every paperwork that covers the incident such as medical records, documentation showing lost wages, receipts from medical aides, and incident reports. These documents will act as evidence and help to back up your claim. The documents may also be used to determine the compensation amount you need to cover damages.
You have every right to file a claim if you got injured on someone’s property, whether it was indoors or outdoors. Moreover, if you want your claim to be successful, you should act fast and file the claim before the deadline. Different states have different deadlines for filing claims so you should research to know what the deadline in your state is. You stand a better chance of getting compensated if you partner with an attorney. An experienced attorney will help to evaluate your claim, strengthen your case, and help you get the compensation you deserve.