Holiday shopping before Christmas and holiday returns after Christmas can make parking lots a chaotic, crowded mess. Especially when New England winters add a healthy serving of snow, ice, and slush. It’s also an opportune time for thieves to stake out parked cars for gifts and gadgets. Extra traffic and adverse weather conditions can result in parking lot injuries and property damage. So, who’s liable for damages if you have an accident in a parking lot? Read on for more information about parking lot-related slip and fall accidents, collisions and theft, and who is responsible for any damages incurred.
Whether in the parking lot or in the store, premises liability holds property owners legally responsible for maintaining their property at all times. Therefore, if a poorly-maintained parking lot causes injuries or property damage, the property owner will likely be liable for those damages. Management may be responsible if they knew, or should have known, that parking lot conditions were poor but failed to correct the problem. For example, if an area of a parking lot is covered in a sheet of ice, that area may be roped off to caution drivers against parking there. Alternatively, the icy-spots could be covered with ice melt to improve traction. If these steps are not taken, management has failed to take reasonable precautions and can be liable for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and costs to fix property damage.
In 2010, the Supreme Court updated its application of the “reasonable person” standard, saying,“If a property owner knows or reasonably should know of a dangerous condition on its property, whether arising from an accumulation of snow or ice, or rust on a railing, or a discarded banana peel, the property owner owes a duty to lawful visitors to make reasonable efforts to protect against the danger.” If you’ve been injured in a parking lot-related accident, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.
Parking Lot Collisions
At this time of year parking lots are filled throughout Massachusetts, people are shopping for post Christmas deals or returning items from the holiday. That combined with cold wet and slippery weather is a recipe for trouble. The same rules that apply on the road generally apply in parking lots. Always use caution, pedestrians always have the right of way, drive on the proper side, and of course drive with caution. If you are involved in a parking lot accident it’s important to treat it the same as if were on a city street. As with all motor vehicle accidents, it’s wise to document as much information as possible. If you are able to do so, photograph injuries and property damage from multiple angles, exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers involved, and ask witnesses for statements and contact information. You should also call the police. An official police report can be immensely helpful in a lawsuit. If you’ve been involved in a parking lot collision, contact a MA injury lawyer today. Continue reading