Who is Liable if I Slip and Fall in a Parking Lot?
With their uneven surfaces, inconsistent lighting, and cars driven by inattentive drivers, California parking lots are common locations for slip and fall accidents and injuries. Because multiple parties might have different levels of control over the same parking facility, determining who is liable for your injuries when you slip and fall in a parking lot can be a challenging task.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer, including any of the accident and injury attorneys at Ellis Injury law, will be your best resource to sort out liability issues when you are injured in a southern California parking lot accident. We understand parking lot ownership and management and we use that knowledge to assign liability to the parties whose negligence precipitated an accident victim’s injuries.
How do parking lot ownership and management affect slip and fall accident liability?
Property owners must use reasonable care to keep their premises reasonably safe and to fix or warn about conditions that might cause a slip and fall accident. This obligation might be partially or wholly transferred to a company that leases the property for use as a parking lot, to ancillary businesses whose clients and customers use the lot, or to independent management companies that control the lot under an operating contract.
Slip and fall attorneys will analyze the deeds, leases, and contracts that cover ownership and operation of a parking lot to establish which parties bore the primary responsibility to provide safe parking lot space and will pursue the key parties to recover the damages that an injured slip and fall accident victim deserves.
What if the parking lot is owned or operated by a city, the state, or the federal government?
The methodology to establish parking lot slip and fall liability will not change for municipal lots, but the procedures for filing a lawsuit against a city, state, or federal governmental body are more stringent. In particular, an injured slip and fall accident victim must file a notice of an intention to sue in most cases no later than six months after the occurrence of the accident. Failure to file a proper notice that includes all required information will typically result in the dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit against a city or the state or federal government. If you have any suspicion that a city, state, or federal government entity owns or manages the southern California parking lot where you had a slip and fall accident, you should contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as is possible to secure your right to recover damages from that entity for your injuries.
Are other drivers in a parking lot ever liable for slip and fall injuries?
You might suffer a slip and fall accident in a parking lot when you rush to get out of the way of an oncoming car. You do have some obligation to remain aware of obvious parking lot hazards and risks, including moving vehicles, but the lot owner or manager has a parallel responsibility to provide safe and unimpeded pedestrian pathways and adequate lighting to allow you to walk through parking lots without risking injuries from those vehicles. The driver of the vehicle that you rushed to avoid might bear some liability for your injuries, but if the parking lot manager did not provide safe walkways or those walkways were blocked, the manager might also be liable.
Ultimately, liability for injuries in a parking lot slip and fall accident will depend on the facts of each specific accident. An accident and injury lawyer will be better able to establish those facts in the immediate aftermath of your accident. Under California law, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your slip and fall lawsuit against a private or commercial parking lot owner or operator. You will have a better opportunity to recover the full amount of damages you deserve when you take immediate legal action after your accident.
Call Ellis Injury Law for representation to determine who is liable for your parking lot slip and fall injuries
The accident and injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have represented injured Southern California accident victims for more than 25 years. In that time, we have recovered more than $350 million in damages settlements from negligent parties and their insurance carriers.
Please see our website or call our Los Angeles offices for a complimentary consultation with a slip and fall accident attorney who will review the facts of your case and provide the guidance you need to determine which parties are liable for your losses and injuries.