Businesses and public agencies can often be held liable for accidents that happen inside their buildings, but what about injuries that occur in their parking lots? From uneven pavement to potholes to snow and ice, parking lots can present conditions that are every bit as hazardous as indoor surfaces. If you’ve tripped and fallen in a parking lot, you may be wondering if you can sue the business to seek compensation for your injuries. The answer in some cases is yes, but it can be complicated.
At The Sawaya Law Firm, we want to help personal injury victims understand their legal options after a slip trip and fall accident. As slip and fall lawyers serving residents of Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and throughout Colorado, we have handled numerous trip and fall accident cases, including injuries in parking lots. We would like to help you understand the factors that may affect your case. Here is some helpful information on how parking lot trip and fall accident cases work. If you decide to take legal action against a business or public agency to seek compensation for your injuries, the Denver trip and fall accident lawyers of The Sawaya Law Firm are ready to fight for you.
Injuries resulting from parking lot trip and fall accidents
Any kind of fall can cause serious injuries, especially in older adults. In many ways, parking lots are even less forgiving than many indoor surfaces. With asphalt or pavement, there’s not much cushion to break your fall. People who fall in parking lots often experience injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and abrasions
- Broken hips
- Infections if abrasions are not properly treated
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Serious fall injuries can result in enormous medical bills and a lengthy recovery. Those who are injured due to another’s negligence may seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. The first step is determining who was responsible for maintaining the parking lot and keeping it safe.
Determining liability after a parking lot trip and fall
Slip and fall cases are a type of personal injury case known as a premises liability case. The idea behind these cases is that whoever is responsible for maintaining a property – or ‘premises’ – is responsible for keeping it reasonably safe.
In legal terms, that responsibility is known as a ‘duty of care.’ Whoever is in charge of the parking lot has a legal duty to address glaring hazards such as deep potholes or cracks that could cause foreseeable accidents. If the party responsible does not fix the hazard or at least adequately warn visitors about the hazards, they may have breached their duty. If this breach of duty causes a visitor to fall and suffer an injury, the party responsible for the parking lot may have acted negligently and be held liable in a personal injury suit.
The complicated part of parking lot trip and fall cases is determining who is responsible for the parking lot. It may not always be who you think. In some cases, it can be as straightforward as suing a business that owns both the building and parking lot the accident victim was visiting. In other cases, the victim may have parked in a lot owned and operated by another business, or even by a government agency. If you have tripped and fallen in a parking lot, an experienced Denver trip and fall attorney from The Sawaya Law Firm can help you determine who might be responsible for your injuries and review your legal options.
Workers’ compensation for fall in parking lot?
Many slip and fall accidents involve the accident victim’s workplace. If you have fallen in the parking lot at work, you may be wondering if you can file a workers’ compensation claim. The answer is yes, at least in some cases. Under a standard workers’ compensation policy, you are covered if you are injured at your workplace while doing your job. This might be the case for you, especially if you work at a job that requires you to drive frequently. In that case, walking across a parking lot to get to your vehicle would be part of your job. On the other hand, injuries that occur while you are commuting to work or if you fall in the parking lot upon arrival at work before starting work may not be covered by workers’ compensation. If you have questions as to whether your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covers your parking lot trip and fall accident, then contact our Denver slip and fall lawyers for answers to your questions.
Grocery store parking lots
Grocery stores often have some of the largest parking lots of any business. Generally speaking, grocery stores are responsible for maintaining their parking lots, though there may be some exceptions if shoppers have to park at an off-site lot.
If you have tripped and fallen in a grocery store parking lot and the fall was caused by a trip hazard due to the store’s negligence, you may be able to hold the store liable for your injuries.
The key question with a parking garage is, “Who owns it?” Parking garages at malls often belong to the company that operates the mall. Public parking garages downtown may belong to the government agency or to businesses that provide daily or monthly parking. If you have tripped and fallen in a parking garage due to another party’s negligence, we can help you determine who was responsible for maintaining the garage and whether you have a right to hold them liable.
Contact a parking lot trip and fall lawyer in Denver today
Recovering from a fall in a parking lot can take a long time if the injury is serious. You may not even know exactly who was responsible. Thankfully, a lawyer can help you determine who is responsible and help you seek the compensation for your injuries. The Sawaya Law Firm has been serving Denver and the rest of Colorado for more 35 years as a dedicated personal injury firm. Our Denver slip and fall lawyers have the experience and know-how to help you hold accountable the party responsible for your fall. For more information on how we can help, contact us.