Slip and fall accidents can occur year-round, but parking lots are especially dangerous during and after major storms. Water, ice, debris and oil slicks are notorious for causing accidents. Slipping and falling can lead to serious injuries, such as shattered wrists, broken arms and hip or tailbone injuries. That’s why many slip and fall victims file a lawsuit: with the help of a personal injury attorney, they can hold the parking lot owner responsible for their negligence.
How do you know when you can sue—and who is liable?
Recovering Damages in a Parking Lot Slip and Fall
If you want to recover compensation for your injuries, the first thing your lawyer will ask is how the accident happened. If the injuries were your fault—maybe you weren’t paying attention to where you were going, are clumsy or were roughhousing—then the parking lot owner will probably not be held responsible. The court will hold them to a duty of reasonable care: they have the duty to maintain the premises so they’re reasonably safe for lawful guests and clients. That doesn’t mean that they have to safeguard against every possibility.
To recover damages in a slip and fall case, your attorney will have to prove that the parking lot owner did not uphold their duty. This usually hinges on whether the parking lot owner owed that duty of care to you specifically, and whether they breached that duty. For example, if they failed to repair cracks and potholes, a court might find that they breached their duty of care. Failing to clean up standing water or remove slick ice patches could also be a breach.
Who is Liable?
Your lawyer will find out who owns the parking lot, whether that’s a business, private landowner, city or other agency. Most businesses and landowners have insurance policies designed to cover accidents. If other businesses were responsible for parking lot maintenance (such as a cleaning service), your attorney may choose to list them as a defendant, too.
However, the parking lot owners may not be held fully liable. Ohio is a comparative negligence state: if you were 50 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover damages. If you were 49 percent at fault (or less), you will be able to recover compensation, offset by the percentage at which you were at fault.
Finally, if you were not lawfully on the premises, the owner may not be held liable for your injuries.
Get Help from an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a parking lot slip and fall accident, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.614.9524 for a consultation. We’ll discuss the facts of your case and how best to proceed. Don’t pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and other costs alone. Together, we’ll hold the parking lot owners responsible.