Parking lots contribute noticeably to the expense generated by daily business operations. Parking lots consume a lot of space, which can be expensive to purchase or rent. Parking lots also require regular maintenance, which adds even more to a company’s expenses.
From repaving potholes and removing litter to trimming plants nearby to promote visibility and paying for lighting, if not security cameras, there are many expenses involved in maintaining parking lots for visitors at a business or commercial building. Unfortunately, property owners sometimes cut corners regarding maintenance, which is a choice that could directly contribute to the cause(s) of a visitor’s injury.
Parking lots are dangerous places
If one looks at an analysis of pedestrian crashes, like a recent review by the National Security Council, it quickly becomes apparent that despite the low speeds in parking lots, they are the location of a disproportionate number of serious pedestrian injuries and deaths.
Driver distraction is one of the leading contributing factors in such crashes. Instead of watching for people nearby, drivers back out of their parking space recklessly and sometimes aggressively, potentially knocking someone down and causing a brain injury.
There are numerous ways in which property owners and businesses can protect pedestrians against dangerous driver habits and parking lots. Keeping visibility a priority when designing the layout of the parking lot and maintaining local vegetation is important. Lighting is also important to safety at night and during the darker winter months.
Proper signage and possibly separate walkways can also limit the risk for pedestrians and vehicles to come into direct contact with each other. Even speed bumps installed throughout a parking lot could potentially help deter the aggressive and unnecessarily fast driving associated with many of the worst parking lot collisions.
If someone gets hurt in a parking lot and they believe that better maintenance by the property owner could have prevented the incident, they may have grounds for a premises liability claim or a civil lawsuit. Identifying who is to blame for a slip-and-fall incident or a pedestrian crash, including property owners who were negligent about maintenance, and taking appropriate action can benefit those who are trying to minimize the financial consequences of such events. Working with a legal professional can help to provide clarity and support.