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Who is liable for damages after parking lot injuries?

Are you suffering the consequences of an injury sustained on the premises of a negligent property owner? Many other individuals in Virginia and other states are likely in the same boat. Parking lots of shopping centers can be hazardous -- especially during peak business periods such as the recent holidays. Life-changing injuries can occur when many vehicles move about a neglected parking area in adverse weather conditions.

Here are three threats you may face in a parking lot:

Property owners can be held liable for injuries caused by several dangerous situations. They have a legal obligation to maintain their premises and address known hazards. Any injuries suffered inside or outside business premises, including parking lots, can lead to premises liability claims against the landlords and/or tenants. Three common types of incidents that can result in such claims include the following:

  1. Fall accidents -- Unsafe parking lots can cause visitors to the property to slip or trip and fall. Severe injuries can result from such incidents, including fractured bones, back injuries and more. When you file a personal injury claim, you will have to show that the property manager was aware of -- or should have been aware of -- the hazardous conditions. For example, adverse weather will cause slippery patches in a parking lot. The property owner must see to the clearing of snow and ice patches and the repairing of any potholes.
  2. Collisions -- When another driver strikes your car in a commercial parking lot, a viable claim against that driver and the property owner may exist -- if unsafe conditions contributed to the cause of the crash. Such a claim may be for property damage and personal injury. Authorities treat parking lot vehicle accidents in the same way as road accidents, and it may help to gather as much information as possible.
  3. Crime -- In some cases, a property owner can be held responsible for crimes committed in a parking lot. However, this will depend on whether the landlord could have anticipated the criminal activity. If assaults or robberies occur in a parking lot in an area known for the prevalence of crimes or a lot at which a previous crime occurred, a viable claim may exist.

If you are a victim of any form of property owner negligence, including those above, staying calm and calling for medical care may be your first priorities. If there are any witnesses present, it would be wise to exchange information. Documenting the details of the incident as soon as possible could also prove valuable to any future claims, as police reports, medical reports, witness statements and photos can all benefit a personal injury lawsuit that may follow.

To pursue recovery of all financial and emotional damages, you could significantly benefit from consulting with a seasoned personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can support and guide you through the legal proceedings, working to obtain a monetary judgment to cover all your losses.

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