Parking lots are the scenes of a variety of harmful personal injuries in Texas every day. Customers may suffer slip, trip, and fall in public or private parking lots, as well as be victims of car accidents, physical assault, or theft. Never assume that because you aren’t inside of a store you don’t have the right to sue a property owner for parking lot injuries. Many parking lot injuries are preventable and are therefore the liability of negligent property owners. To learn when you can sue for a parking lot injury in Texas, work with a local personal injury attorney. Here are a few basic examples of when an injured party can sue.
Can You Sue a Store if You Fall in Their Parking Lot?
Slip, trip, and fall accidents injure thousands of people every year. People suffer serious injuries in slip and fall accidents in parking lots, such as broken bones, concussions, and head and brain injuries. Knowing when the property owner is legally responsible for your parking lot slip, trip, or fall injury can help you know when to file a personal injury claim. An icy parking lot, rough patch of grass, or uneven curb is only grounds for a lawsuit if the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous issue but did nothing to prevent injury.
Parking Lot Injuries
The Texas courts may hold property owners liable for accidents and injuries that occur on a property if proper care would have prevented the injury. For example, say a woman trips on an uneven sidewalk walking from the parking lot into the store and breaks her hip. If the owner of a grocery store should have noticed the dangerously uneven curb with proper routine maintenance checks, the courts may hold him or her liable for the woman’s injuries. In this example, the woman was an invitee to the property and the owner owed her the highest standard of care – including checking for and repairing unknown hazards. The woman would have to prove that a prudent property owner would have noticed the hazard and repaired or warned customers of it in the same circumstances.
If you get into a car accident in a parking lot, you may have a case against the property owner. If you suffered a personal injury such as whiplash or expensive property damage, a case against the other driver or parking lot owner may be worthwhile. The courts may hold a property owner responsible for parking lot collisions if the parking lot was in a state of disrepair or had known dangers that contributed to the accident, such as a downed light pole or inadequate/confusing signage. If the parking lot owner knew or should have known about car accident hazards and didn’t do anything to prevent a collision, an accident may be his or her responsibility.
Premises liability laws also encompass a property’s security measures. If the owner of a property has reason to believe there is a need for security measures such as a security guard, cameras, or extra lighting to prevent physical assaults and theft but fails to incorporate such measures, resulting in injury, the courts may find the owner guilty of negligence. A property owner may know of a security concern if the neighborhood has a high crime rate, if the previous owner had security problems, or if issues have occurred on the property previously.
Failing to make a parking lot as secure as the circumstances warrant is a form of property owner negligence that can result in serious physical, mental, and financial harm to property visitors. If you suffer as a result, speak to a personal injury attorney, file your claim, and prove your claim in the Texas civil court system.