Coral Springs, Florida: When people think of parking lot accidents, they usually picture two automobiles colliding with one another. These types of accidents certainly are very common (in fact, our office handles many cases where a person has been injured as a result of a parking lot collision)
But in addition to car crashes, thousands of pedestrians are also seriously injured every year while merely walking in parking lots, most from trip or slip and fall accidents. In Florida, we do not have any mass transit system like they have in places such as New York, Boston, or Chicago. Instead, most Floridians travel from place to place by automobile.
Accordingly, there are thousands and thousands of parking lots in our state. And when these parking lots are not adequately maintained, they can contain a multitude of dangerous conditions for pedestrians, including:
- Cracked walking surfaces
- Uneven drains
- Unpainted wheel stops
- Slippery pavement
- And much more
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a parking lot, call the Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. at (954) 833-1440 or contact us online. We are dedicated to fighting for those who are injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence.
Parking Lot Hazards
As parking lot injury attorneys in Florida, we represent individuals who have been injured due to all sorts of parking lot hazards. Throughout our state, poorly maintained parking lots are filled with potential dangers for pedestrians, including the following.
Potholes, and Cracked or Uneven Pavement and Walking Surfaces
Over time, the pavement in parking lots will often deteriorate and develop defects. For example, anybody that has ever been in a Florida parking lot has surely noticed potholes.
These usually occur when water seeps through the pavement and erodes the soil underneath the pavement. This weakens the ground, and then vehicular traffic passes over the weakened ground and collapses the surface.
Some potholes are deep and wide, whereas others are small and shallow. When a person is walking through a parking lot, it’s easy to fail to recognize a pothole or other cracked or uneven surface, especially when there’s no differentiation in color to alert a person to the change in level.
You can be walking through the parking lot one moment, and the next moment your foot strikes an uneven portion of pavement and you go crashing to the ground.
Unpainted or Improperly Placed Wheel Stops and Speed Bumps
In addition to pavement defects, parking lots oftentimes contain a number of other trip and fall hazards such as wheel stops (a/k/a car bumpers or parking blocks) and speed bumps. A person can easily trip and fall over wheel stops or speed bumps, particularly those that are the same or similar color to the ground.
When these obstructions are not painted to differentiate them from the asphalt or concrete pavement, a person walking through the parking lot won’t readily notice these changes in level. Wheel stops pose an additional danger to pedestrians when they are placed in pedestrian pathways, when they aren’t properly centered within parking spaces, and when rebar protrudes from the top of the wheel stop, making it easy to trip and fall over the wheel stop.
When a parking lot is not properly illuminated, there is a real risk that pedestrians will be unable to adequately see the ground in front of them when it’s dark outside. As a result, a person traversing a parking lot at night can easily trip and fall over debris on the ground, uneven pavement, uneven drains, wheel stops, speed bumps, and other hazards on the ground.
Sometimes the parking lot is not adequately illuminated because there just are not enough (or any) light poles. Other times, the lack of lighting is due to broken or burned out light bulbs. Whatever the cause, a lack of sufficient lighting at night is a serious hazard in parking lots.
Slippery Parking Lines Paint or Striping
Nearly all parking lots have areas where the pavement is painted, whether for parking stripes, handicap space markings, directional symbols, or to identify crosswalks. Quite often, the painted areas become extremely slippery when wet, creating a significant slip and fall risk for persons walking through the parking lot.
A lot of the paint products used in parking lots actually have labels on the paint cans stating that the paint becomes slippery when wet. The thing is, this dangerous condition can readily be mitigated by using a paint additive such as sand or some other gritty substance.
The addition of sand or another gritty substance to the paint results in a textured surface that is much less slippery, and much safer for pedestrians. Even though this is a cheap and simple fix, many parking lot owners fail to ensure that the paint used in their parking lots contains a sand or gritty material additive.
As a result of this negligence, pedestrians are exposed to an unnecessary risk when the painted portion of the pavement becomes wet and slippery.
Slick Walking Surfaces
Another unsafe condition in parking lots occurs when the concrete or asphalt surface itself becomes slippery. This frequently happens when vehicles leak a fluid such as oil or antifreeze. When these fluids leak onto the ground, they cause the pavement to become extremely slick.
Obviously, the presence of oil and other substances on the ground is a significant slip and fall risk. And this risk is further magnified after it rains and the oil or other substance mixes with water, causing the ground to become even more slippery.
And as anybody who has been in Florida for more than a few days knows, it pretty much constantly rains in our state. Unfortunately, a person walking in a parking lot might not even notice that the ground is slippery until after their foot slips from under them and they fall violently to the ground.
Florida Law Requires Parking Lots to Be Reasonably Maintained
As experienced Florida parking lot injury lawyers, we know that insurance adjusters and defense attorneys tend to fight parking lot negligence cases tooth and nail. They like to argue that the property owner, manager, or possessor isn’t liable for your injuries for any number of reasons, including that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious” and that you should have noticed the hazard before you slipped, tripped, or fell.
But in Florida, even if the danger was open and obvious, the entity or person who owns, manages, or controls the parking lot has a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
The the property owner, manager, or possessor must ensure that the parking lot is reasonably safe for pedestrian traffic regardless of whether the parking lot is:
- A stand-alone parking lot or garage
- Part of a hotel
- Condominium or apartment complex
- Shopping center
- Grocery store
- Or some other facility
This includes making reasonable inspections of the parking lot to ensure that there are no unreasonably dangerous conditions for people passing through the parking lot.
In addition to reasonably maintaining the parking lot, the property owner, manager, or possessor also has a duty to warn persons of concealed dangers at the premises. So, when the danger is not open and obvious the parking lot must contain sufficient warnings alerting you to the concealed hazard.
Experienced Parking Lot Negligence Attorneys in Florida
When you suffer an injury in a parking lot, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., our attorneys have decades of experience fighting insurance companies and representing clients who have been injured as a result of negligent property owners and managers.
We handle cases all across the state of Florida. Founding attorney Dan Cytryn is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who is a specialist and expert in fall injury cases.
Attorney Cytryn has handled numerous cases where clients have fallen in parking lots, including obtaining a $670,000[*] jury verdict in a case where our client was injured while walking through a parking lot when he tripped and fell over a concrete parking block at the bottom of a ramp, and he ultimately died.
How We Can Help
If you have been injured as a result of negligence in a parking lot, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- And more
But you need an experienced attorney protecting your interests and making sure that the negligent parties are held accountable for your injuries. We offer free consultations, and you do not even have to come into our office for the sign-up.
We can e-mail you documents remotely so you do not have to worry about leaving your home during these difficult times.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot incident anywhere in Florida, contact our office now at (954) 833-1440 for a free case evaluation. At your convenience, we can meet with you via video or telephone conference.
[*] Reduced to $400,000 due to comparative negligence
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