Business owners have a duty to people on their property to provide a safe environment free from hazards that can lead to injuries. This includes making sure the parking lot and parking areas are safe for use. Unfortunately, parking lot accidents that involve a slip and fall event are common because maintenance and care are often overlooked.
If you were injured after a slip and fall accident in a parking structure or lot, you may have the right to seek compensation with a premises liability claim.
Who Is Responsible If You Slip And Fall In A Parking Lot?
If you fell in the parking area of a business, the business owner or operator may be the responsible party for that accident if a dangerous condition led to your injuries.
According to Nevada premises liability law, it is the obligation of a property owner to ensure that their property is safe for those who enter based on different standards, including:
- Business invitees (highest duty)
- Those who enter for mutual benefit
- Trespassers1 (least amount of duty)
Business owners must also make an effort to know about any potential problems and avoid them. This means that inspections must be done regularly in a parking area to prevent issues from arising. In other words, a business cannot simply say, “We didn’t know there was a problem.”
Is There a Difference Between a Public and Private Parking Lot?
Private parking lots are any parking area or structure owned and operated for profit. Public parking lots are owned and operated by a government entity, like a city, county, or state.
However, if you are injured in a public lot, you may not have the same ability to claim compensation as you do when injured in a private parking area. You will need to speak with a slip and fall attorney to determine fault in a parking lot accident and how to best exercise your rights.
What Types of Accidents Are Common in a Parking Lot?
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of accidents in a parking structure or lot due to:
- Uneven pavement, holes in the pavement, or large cracks that can catch your shoes
- Ice and snow
- Oil or other slippery substances
- Unmarked curbs, stairs, or lanes
- Debris or obstructions
- Poor lighting
Other issues can arise in a parking area that lead to different accidents, including fender benders or pedestrian accidents. Working with a lawyer specializing in personal injury cases can help you claim fair compensation after these types of accidents.
What Should Businesses Do To Keep Parking Areas Safe?
Businesses are encouraged to do the following to keep their parking areas safe:
- Conduct regular inspections of the parking area and make necessary repairs
- Ensure adequate lighting, especially at night
- Paint curbs and lanes a contrasting color from the pavement so they can be easily seen
- Remove snow, ice, and excessive water promptly
- Treat oil and other spills right away and place warnings in the area while it dries
- Sweep the site frequently to remove debris
If the property owner or operator fails to take these steps and a trip and fall accident occurs, the victim may be able to claim compensation.
Do Police Respond To Parking Lot Accidents?
If a slip and fall accident occurs in a parking structure or lot, it is unlikely that police will respond to the event unless the situation escalates. However, you should always call for emergency services if your parking lot injury requires immediate medical attention.
Police generally only respond to parking accidents where a vehicle is involved in hitting a pedestrian, or there is property damage. If you are injured by a vehicle in a parking structure or lot, this will fall under a car or pedestrian accident, not a slip and fall.
What Should You Do If You Fall In A Parking Lot?
After falling in a parking area, what you do can impact your ability to claim compensation. It’s vital that you follow the right steps after your slip and fall accident to ensure your personal injury claim is successful. If you fall in a parking structure or lot, you should:
- Notify the property owner immediately, so there is an accident report and documentation
- Get contact information from any witnesses if possible
- Seek medical attention for your injuries
- Take pictures of the area, injuries, and what may have caused the fall
- If someone is with you, have them help you take photos of where you fell and how
- Follow all medical advice and treatments
- Avoid posting too much information about the event on social media
- Contact a slip and fall lawyer as soon as your injuries are stabilized
Lawyers for Parking Lot Slip and Falls
Premises liability cases can be challenging because property owners are often quick to make repairs or change the slip and fall area. Contacting an attorney experienced in parking lot accidents can help you protect your rights.
Victims who fell in parking lot structures or areas have the right to compensation for their damages. Speak with one of our slip and fall attorneys to see if you have a claim and what it may be worth.