Parking lots can be dangerous. While our initial fear may be rooted in parking lot and parking garage robberies and rapes, the main cause of injury and death is actually motor vehicle collisions. These crashes involve collisions with others cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists, and they are not always the sole fault of the drivers or the other motorists involved. Some parking lots are kept in such disarray that serious collisions are essentially inevitable. Large potholes and damaged, deteriorating cement parking blocks can cause drivers to lose control even at low speeds.
Pedestrians are the Most At-Risk User Group in Parking Lots
According to the PR News Wire, in 2016 more than 500 pedestrians were killed in parking lots and parking garages. That equates to over eight percent of all pedestrian deaths for that year. While drivers should be held responsible for killing or maiming pedestrians in parking lots and parking garages, some of the blame may also lay with the owner of the parking lot. Whether the lot is owned by the city or a business, it must be properly maintained with adequate signage, direction markings, speed limits, pavement conditions, sidewalks, lighting, and visibility (overgrown trees, dumpsters, and other obstacles may inhibit visibility in some parking lots). The main threat to pedestrians and cyclists in parking lots is the presence of cars and trucks, but poorly maintained road surfaces can also cause bikes to crash and pedestrians to twist an ankle or trip and fall.
Examples of Poor Surface Conditions and Other Hazards
One in five motor vehicle collisions takes place in parking lots or garages, according to MyParkingSign. In order for a parking lot owner to be liable for a parking lot accident, the owner must have had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard before the accident occurred, and reasonable time to take preventative measures. If they knew about the hazard and did nothing, or did not do enough, to mitigate potential threats to their patrons they can be sued. Common parking lot maintenance issues include:
- Ice or snow not removed;
- Broken concrete parking blocks;
- Crumbling concrete and gravel scattered everywhere;
- Dangerous design;
- Negligent security;
- Poor lighting;
- Improper signage;
- Too high of a speed limit;
- No sidewalks or nonfunctional sidewalks (a sidewalk that leads to nowhere);
- Lack of other pedestrian safeguards, such as crosswalks and warning signs;
- Blind corners without stop signs;
- Lack of speed bumps;
- Slippery stairs or no handrail on the stairs;
- Elevator in disrepair;
- Slippery walking or driving surfaces that should have had more grip (such as slip resistant paint);
- Spilled products, oil slicks, etc.
- No reflective materials used in signs or post markings; and
- Debris blocking roadway.
Have You Been the Victim of a Parking Lot or Parking Garage Accident?
If you were injured due to a poorly maintained parking lot, as a pedestrian, cyclists, or as a driver, you need to contact an attorney at once. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers here at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin can be reached today.