Parking lots are common areas where accidents and injuries occur. Slip and falls and vehicle collisions can create various hazards in these spaces.
When an injury takes place in a store’s parking lot, the question arises: is the store responsible for the damages?
Premises liability and store responsibility
Premises liability law dictates that property owners must maintain a safe environment for visitors. This duty includes keeping the parking lot in proper condition and ensuring it is free from hazards that could cause harm. A store that fails to maintain its parking lot properly may face liability for damages if someone gets injured as a result.
Factors that influence liability
Several factors can affect whether a store is liable for injuries sustained in its parking lot. The nature of the hazard is one such factor. The store may be responsible if a hazardous condition, such as an uneven surface or poor lighting, contributed to the injury. However, the courts may not hold the store liable if the injury resulted from a situation beyond the store’s control like another driver’s negligence.
Another factor is the store’s knowledge. If the store knew or should have known about the hazard and did not address it in a timely manner, the courts might find them responsible for the injury.
What to do if you get hurt in a store’s parking lot
Taking certain steps after getting hurt in a store’s parking lot can help protect your rights and build a strong case if you decide to pursue compensation. First, seek medical attention. Getting medical attention immediately after the incident also helps document your injuries.
Next, report the incident to the store management and provide them with your contact information. Documenting the scene is important as well, so take photos of the hazard that caused your injury and any other relevant conditions like poor lighting or lack of warning signs.
Understanding the factors determining liability and taking appropriate steps after the incident can better protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your injuries.