Slip and Falls in Parking Lots
In California, a parking lot owner is required to maintain the parking lot such that it is reasonably safe for the people who use it. This may include posting warning signs, installing adequate lighting, and filling cracks or holes in the lot. Sometimes the height in one section of the parking lot is different from the height in another section, and this transition may need to be gradual to protect visitors from slipping and falling. The Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys at Sharifi Firm may be able to help you recover compensation if you are hurt in a parking lot. As experienced premises liability lawyers, we can help you explore your options and protect your rights.Seeking Compensation for a Slip and Fall in a Parking Lot
In order to recover compensation after a slip and fall, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant had a duty of care toward you and that there was a dangerous condition on the defendant’s property. Also, the defendant must have had actual or constructive notice about the dangerous condition, and you must have incurred actual damages. Generally, the defendant must have owned, controlled, or operated the parking lot in order to owe a duty to maintain it or address any problems that need fixing.
Whatever the dangerous condition is, you will need to prove that the defendant either knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about it in the exercise of reasonable care. Proving this element of notice can be complicated. It may be necessary to retain an expert familiar with the industry standard for parking lots or review parking lot maintenance records. Generally, the longer the dangerous condition has existed, the better your argument will be that an owner or operator should have noticed it.
On the other hand, in California and other states, defendant property owners often argue that a dangerous condition was "open and obvious." If a condition is open and obvious, a visitor has a responsibility to avoid it. For example, if there is a huge orange sign in a parking lot, this may be an open and obvious danger that you have a responsibility to avoid or to walk around more carefully.
In some cases, both the defendant and the plaintiff may bear some responsibility for the plaintiff's injuries. California adheres to the rule of pure comparative negligence, under which a plaintiff's percentage of fault as determined by a jury will result in a proportionate reduction of damages. For example, if the jury assigns each party half of the responsibility for an accident and determines that the total damages are $100,000, the victim can potentially recover up to $50,000 from the defendant.Explore Your Options with a Los Angeles Attorney after a Slip and Fall
After an accident in a parking lot, the owner or operator may take steps to fix the condition or may not maintain the property in the same way. It can be important to gather evidence as soon as the accident happens and to consult an attorney right away. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our Los Angeles slip and fall lawyers can help you pursue compensation after being hurt in a parking lot. For a free consultation, call us at 1-866-422-7222 or contact us online. We also represent accident victims in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Riverside, as well as other Southern California cities.