Most of us see parking lots for what they are: a place to park your car outside a store or shopping mall. However, many don’t realize parking lots pose one of the most common hazards for accidents. Aside from minor auto collisions, parking lots also pose a significant danger for pedestrians. Slip and fall accidents occur with alarming frequency in parking lots, whether from icy walkways, inadequate lighting, broken pavement, or other causes.
Injuries After a Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accident
Slip or trip and fall accidents in parking lots can occur in a number of ways, and many of these accidents result in mild to severe injuries. In general, slip and fall accidents are the most common reason for traumatic brain injuries, which can be fatal for many people. In fact, TBIs are the cause of death in 46% of fatal fall accidents. Furthermore, the CDC reports roughly 20-30% of slip and fall accidents result in serious injuries like hip fractures and head injuries. Depending on the damage, slip and fall accidents can lead to extensive medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and even death.
Property Owners Can Be Held Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents
Property owners have a duty to maintain public safety and mitigate safety risks on their property, including parking lots. That means ensuring proper lighting, fixing cracked concrete, and installing handrails where necessary. In an ideal world, all parking lots would be safe and free of safety risks. Unfortunately, parking lots present dozens of tripping hazards. Even a small crack in the pavement can pose a significant risk, especially when coupled with poor lighting or bad vision. Knowing when a property owner is liable for your accident may not be as obvious as it seems.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Property owners must carry liability insurance. This means if someone gets hurt in the parking lot or building, the insurance will pay for medical bills. Most insurance policies for property owners have “no-fault” payment for medical expenses, but this is limited to $5,000.00 in most cases. While this is the quickest way to resolve a claim, you don’t get much compensation.
If you’ve sustained multiple injuries or have missed time off work, that amount probably won’t cover your expenses. In such a case, you need to file a personal injury claim and prove negligence. When a property owner fails to fulfill his or her duty to maintain safety, courts may hold him or her liable. Bad lighting and broken concrete aren’t the only hazards a parking lot holds; potholes, lack of guardrails, and other defective surfaces are all examples of property owner negligence.
Comparative Negligence in Texas
The property owner’s attorney may try to prove you were at fault for your own accident. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence clause, which states you can still collect compensation as long as you’re less than 51% liable for your own accident. This percentage directly affects the compensation you receive. For example, if you’re 20% at fault, you will receive the remaining 80% of the total compensation amount. Your personal injury attorney will try to minimize that fault percentage as much as possible to recover the most compensation.
Expert Slip and Fall Representation in Texas
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert has experience across a variety of personal injury law specializations, including cases of slip and fall accidents in parking lots. We are proud to one of the few Board Certified personal injury attorney firms in the state. We provide highly skilled, excellent representation for our clients, and we work diligently to get you the most compensation possible. We offer a free consultation and there is no fee or expense unless you recover. Contact us to discuss your options.
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Construction Site Falls
- Walmart Injuries
- Escalator & Elevator Injuries
- Fatal Falls
- Falling Object Injuries
- Falls at Work
- Stairway Accidents
- Parking Lot Injuries
- Grocery Store Falls
- Hotel Falls
- Inadequate Lighting Falls
- Restaurant Falls
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