Traffic and parking. Chances are, if you ask anyone who lives or works in a large American city about their biggest pet peeves, these are definitely on the list – if not close at or close to the top. But when it comes to parking in Los Angeles, perception isn’t always reality.
Based on those statistics, it’s safe to say there’s plenty of parking in LA. Of course that also means there’s a pretty good chance that you or a loved one could slip and fall in a parking lot. What if that happened and you got hurt? Could you sue for compensation for your economic and non-economic losses? Who would you sue?
These are good questions. As experienced personal injury attorneys in California, we know the answers depend on the unique circumstances of each case. However, that doesn’t preclude us from addressing general concerns.
Common causes of Los Angeles parking lot slip and fall injuries
One of the first things we have to consider in personal injury litigation is the cause of the accident. Here are some common factors leading to slip and fall injuries in parking lots:
- Slick surfaces –slippery surfaces due to ice, snow, or even rain-soaked leaves may often lead to slip and fall accidents in parking lots.
- Poor lighting – inadequate lighting may prevent people from seeing hazards as they are walking through the parking lot, causing them to slip and fall.
- Cracked or uneven surfaces – unfilled holes or broken pavement in a parking lot sometimes causes trip and fall or slip and fall injury accidents.
Who owns the lot?
Next, we must identify who owns the parking lot. This is critical because the owner is usually responsible for making sure it is safe for users. However, it isn’t always easy to determine ownership, especially if the parking lot serves multiple businesses.
The owner may be an individual (if it’s a smaller lot), entity or a municipality. According to its website, the Parking Facilities Division of the city’s transportation department operates and maintains more than 100 “parking facilities” throughout the City of Los Angeles. These facilities range from small surface lots with less than 10 parking spaces to underground parking structures that can accommodate thousands of vehicles.
In some cases, the owner may retain a management company to operate and maintain the parking lot. In these circumstances, it may be possible to seek compensation for your slip and fall injury from both.
If need be, the qualified legal team here at LawPLA will identify the owner using various investigative techniques. These include, but are not limited to reviewing relevant public records, including land/property records.
Do I have a viable parking lot slip and fall injury case?
This is one of the most common questions we get from prospective clients who have slipped and fallen in Los Angeles parking lots. To reiterate, the answer depends on the unique circumstances of your case. That being stated, you may have a viable case if we can prove that:
- The party/parties responsible for operating/maintaining the lot knew or should have known about the hazard that caused your injury.
- The party/parties with a duty to keep parking lot users safe failed to provide adequate warning about the hazard; or
- The party/parties responsible for your safety in the parking lot failed to take corrective action in a timely manner.
- You slipped and fell in the parking lot as a result.
- The fall caused your injury/injuries.
- You incurred financial and/or non-economic losses because of your injury.
Steps you can take to help us prove your LA parking lot slip and fall claim
If you are struggling to recover from injuries sustained in a recent parking lot slip and fall accident, there are things you can do to help us build your case.
First, you can provide us with any photographs taken of the parking lot where you fell and the hazard that caused the fall. Ideally you (or a bystander) took some immediately or shortly after you fell. Any photos of the scene taken later on are also helpful, as are any photos of your injury or injuries.
In a best-case scenario, you reported the incident to a parking attendant (if there was one), the parking management office or the lot owner. Any copies of these reports could help bolster your claim. Copies of your medical records will boost your credibility as well.
Once they have this material, our personal injury attorneys can easily determine whether you have a viable case. They’ll also provide all the information you need to make the decision that is best for you.
If you decide to pursue legal recourse, you’ll need the best parking lot slip and fall accident lawyers to fight for you. Contact LawPLA by using the form on our website or call our office to schedule a free consultation, today.