Slip and fall accidents account for over 3 million annual injuries in the United States. A decent percentage of these injuries are sustained in the parking lot. Parking lot slip and fall injuries arise from various reasons, including wet floors, uneven parking lot floors, ice or snow deposits, and more. Hale Law is a reputable personal injury law office that advises and represents parking lot fall victims who wish to pursue legal actions or weigh their options.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents In Parking Lots
Many pedestrians suffer from slip and fall accidents in parking lots due to the increased frequency of use. Most people encounter parking lots at least twice a day, whether on their way to work, shopping malls, grocery stores, medical appointments, or others. The frequency of use of parking lots makes slips and falls a little more common than in most other areas.
Here are some common causes of slip and fall accidents in parking lots.
Potholes And Uneven Pavement
Potholes are a result of weathering. Weathering is caused by recurrent exposure to sunlight, rain, and precipitation. Seeing as most parking lots are open, they are exposed to these weather elements, which ultimately compromise them and their safety.
Uneven pavements could also be caused by weather elements, vehicular and foot traffic, poor parking lot maintenance, as well as general wear and tear. Parking lot users may fall into these potholes absent-mindedly or miss their steps walking on uneven grounds. These can cause them to trip or fall over, leading to minor or major injuries.
Shopping Carts Or Debris
Most parking lots, especially those in grocery shops or huge malls and supermarkets, often have shopping carts littered around. The shopping carts are usually from other shoppers who have loaded their carts to empty items in their vehicles. These carts can be dangerous to unsuspecting people who could get caught up in them.
Additionally, parking lot debris, whether due to human waste or heavy wind, can also predispose users to trips and falls. These trips and falls may be severe, especially due to the hard concrete and tarred surface presented by parking lots.
Adverse Weather Conditions
Heavy winds can be dangerous, especially in open spaces. People could find themselves blown away from a standing or walking position due to heavy winds. In addition, people could sustain trip, slip, and fall injuries from walking on snow or ice formed on the parking lot floors. In addition, wet floors caused by rainfall or other forms of precipitation can also predispose parking lot users to falls.
Poor lighting can predispose parking lot users to trip and fall accidents. This could be made worse when coupled with uneven floors, slippery floors, or potholes.
Unfriendly Parking Lot Design
The design of most parking lot focuses on cars and not the actual drivers or users. This may make parking lots a bit unsafe for humans who have to walk to and from their vehicles to access important services.
Some of the unfriendly parking lot designs that predispose pedestrians to accidents and injuries include;
- Lack of walkways or paths
- Lack of space between vehicles for walking
- Blind turns and corners that predispose pedestrians to being hit by oncoming vehicles
- High speed limits, little to no stop signs, and lack of proper signage in parking lots
- Tight parking spaces that force people to walk across roads or through dangerous areas
Commonest Injuries Suffered in Parking Lots
Due to the above-named factors, many people slip, trip, and fall to sustain minor or major injuries in parking lots. Some of the commonest injuries people suffer include;
- Broken bones, including shoulder fractures, knee fractures, elbow fractures, and more.
- Bruises and abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries like torn ligaments and tendons
- Permanent disability
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Hip fractures
- Herniated discs
Who Can Be Liable For Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accident?
Parking lot slip and fall accident victims often want to know who can be held liable for their injuries and suffering. It is important to consult with an injury lawyer to better understand your case, the facts, and determine the at-fault party or parties.
Your injury lawyer can help you determine whether the parking lot owner is at fault or the business you’ve visited. They can also determine whether the government is the at-fault party and guide you through your personal injury claim in each case.
In most cases, the lawyer will investigate to identify the entity in charge of the parking lot’s repair, maintenance, and safety. Usually, this entity can be held liable for your damages.