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When should you sue for an accident in a parking lot?

Most people assume that accidents in parking lots are fender benders. While true, many are, fender benders are not the exclusive source of tort liability in parking lots, especially in the winter. This post will go over the types of situations that arise in parking lots and how might recover compensation in each scenario.

Property owners, including retailers, are under a general duty to keep their businesses free from reasonable dangers. Reasonable dangers are those that the property owner could reasonably discover and prevent or mitigate in a reasonable fashion. For example, property owners should be able to identify spills if 30 minutes or more have passed and they should be able to clean them up (prevent) or place a warning sign (mitigate the risk). Therefore, when property owners fail to address reasonable hazards, they are liable, and parking lots are no exceptions.

In the winter, you are at a greater risk of slipping and falling in a parking lot. In places where it snows, that is due to black ice, but in Southern California, it is best of slippery floors due to rain. Southern California is pummeled with rain only during the winter. Property owners must remain vigilant and do their best to prevent or warn customers of dangerous puddles or slick floors that could result in falls.

Another common issue, especially during the shopping season, is an increase in criminal activity. Yes, property owners can be held liable for the actions of another person. The property owner would be liable if they had warning or reason to know of criminal activity and if they could have taken reasonable steps to mitigate the harm. For instance, retailers are not required to hire 24-hour patrol teams armed with guns, but they might be required to hire a private security guard and install lights or cameras.

If you were injured in a parking lot due to a negligent property owner, you might want to contact an attorney. A lawyer can go over the facts that led to your injury and advise you of the best way to seek compensation. Not everyone should pursue a lawsuit and sometimes a lawsuit is the only option; only a lawyer can walk you through the differences. You don’t need to try and figure this out on your own; a lawyer can help.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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