Injured in a parking lot? Make sure you document how and why.

Parking lots are a frequent scene of personal injuries and lend themselves to documenting precisely how and why. That is because of security cameras and of course, other patrons.

The key to developing this evidence is acting quickly to make sure it isn't erased, recorded over or forgotten. While there are a variety of different scenarios, typically there are vehicle crashes, falls associated with dangerous conditions such as holes and criminal acts.

The first category often are less severe due to the low speeds typically attained by vehicles in parking lots but obviously vehicles striking pedestrians are another matter entirely. Any time a several thousand pound object such as a car or truck hits a human, the human will suffer.

The at-fault driver and their liability insurance will carry the financial responsibility for such an event.

The second category, falls or slips, are tricky because one must establish not only who was responsible for the condition that brought about the event but also that they either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.

The financial responsibility for such an event falls to the entity charged with maintenance of the area where the injury took place. Sometimes that means a mall owner or store and sometimes there are literally companies in charge of the parking lot itself.

The final category, parking lot criminal activity falls into an area of so-called " premises liablity." Parking lots present many opportunities for criminals to blend in with the other customers and steal the contents of motor vehicles and also to rob and accost patrons.

The financial responsibility for such events is more difficult to establish in many cases. The analysis often is, did the mall or parking lot have awareness of the existence of criminal activity at or near their facility and did they undertake notifying patrons of this fact and take measures to protect the public?

This potential liability explains why cameras in mall parking lots and security patrols exist. There is an unhealthy tension between the mall owner wishing to reassure customers they are perfectly safe and the acknowledgement of  both past and present criminal activity of which shoppers should be made aware. You can't effectively protect yourself from risks of which you have no knowledge.

The bottom line is that all of these potentially injurious events may well be captured on video and you will need it to make your case unassailable.

 

 

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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