People often wonder what happens and who is responsible when they suffer an accident in a parking lot or garage. If you’ve been injured as the result of an accident in a parking lot in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the responsible party. Determining who is legally at fault (if anyone) in a parking lot accident requires a thorough examination of the facts and circumstances around the accident.
The presence of parking lots and garages in the area continues to grow as schools, shopping malls, office buildings, airports, and other organizations use them to provide consumers with quick and easy access to their destination. Someone may suffer an injury in a parking lot as the result of slipping on something or being hit by a moving car. Regardless of the cause, the victim has certain rights. If the injury was caused because of someone else’s negligence, that person or organization may be held responsible for the damages.
A Premises Liability Claim In Pennsylvania
If you are injured from an accident in a parking lot in Pennsylvania, you may be able to file a premises liability claim.
Under the law, property owners and managers must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If they fail to do so and someone is injured on the property, that person could argue that the owner was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe environment and file a premises liability claim.
Determining What Is Reasonable
It is the concept of “reasonable” that often becomes the central point of the argument in premises liability claims that arise from accidents in parking lots.
It is understandable that it would be impossible for a property owner to keep any property absolutely safe from causing harm to anyone who ever enters. In order for any danger on the property to be considered negligent, it would have to be something that was either obviously noticeable during any regular inspection or something that the owner was previously notified about. Owners are also given a reasonable amount of time to fix a safety problem after they’ve been notified.
Possible Causes Of Parking Lot Accidents
There are many things that could cause an accident in the parking lot. Things like cracks in the surface or potholes could cause someone to trip. Fluids leaked from cars could cause a slip and fall. Natural elements like rain and snow could also create slippery spots. Then, of course, there is also the possibility of being struck by a car pulling into or out of the lot.
Not all of these causes would be the fault of property owners or drivers. In general, if the cause of the accident was something that the owner or manager should have been aware of or was made aware of, then they will held legally responsible for any damage caused.
In the case of injury resulting from a vehicle, it would need to be proven that the driver was somehow negligent in his or her actions. For example, if a security camera showed that a driver ignored a stop sign or yield sign and then struck a pedestrian, that driver would most likely be held legally responsible for the injury.
Pennsylvania Is A Comparative Negligence State
It’s important to note that in injury cases such as those involving parking lot accidents, the person who’s suffered the injury also has a certain amount of responsibility for his or her own safety.
In negligence cases in Pennsylvania, the courts use what is called comparative negligence when determining responsibility and possible monetary awards for damages. This means that the court may determine that the injured person was, for example, 10% responsible for their own accident. In this case, any damages awarded would be reduced by 10%.
As an example, if you slipped on something in parking that was obvious enough that you probably should have seen it before you walked through it, a judge may say that you were 25% responsible for the accident. Then, if you were original to be awarded $100,000, that amount would be reduced by 25% to $75,000.
Have You Been Injured In A Parking Lot In Pennsylvania?
The personal injury attorneys at Solnick & Associates have experience with all types of accident claims in Pennsylvania. If you’ve been injured in a parking lot or garage and believe your injury may have been caused as a result of the negligence of others, we can help. You can contact us online anytime or call us at (215) 481-9979 for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss the details of your case and determine what we can do to help you.