Many times, a slip and fall in a parking lot results in a few bruises and some embarrassment. Still, other times, it can result in severe injuries, including fractures and traumatic brain injuries.
When it comes to commercial parking lots, who is responsible for injuries? Is it the fault of the property owner or the customer?
The duty of care
Store owners have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their customers. This not only pertains to inside the building, but it also means that they must take reasonable steps to prevent accidents in their parking lots. These steps may include removing snow and ice, fixing potholes and providing proper lighting.
However, some factors can limit a store owner’s liability for slips and falls in their parking lots, such as:
- The store owner has taken all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the parking lot
- Potential hazards were clearly marked
- The injured person was trespassing
- The store owner was aware of the hazard but did not have time to rectify it. An example would be inclement weather conditions, such as snow and ice.
Furthermore, New Jersey has a comparative negligence law that states the store owner’s liability could be limited if the injured person was partly to blame for the accident.
So, if the store owner knew of a dangerous condition and failed to rectify it, they could be liable for the injury.
Slips and falls are a common cause of severe injuries, which can lead to significant medical expenses and time off from work. Therefore, the concerned party needs to discuss their situation with someone who can help them receive compensation.