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Who is Legally Responsible for a Parking Lot Accident in Pennsylvania?

People throughout Pennsylvania often wonder what happens when they suffer injuries in parking lots and parking garage structures.   Injured individuals who suffer injuries may be able to recover compensation for their harm from the responsible party.  In some cases, this may be the property owner, while other times, a careless driver may have caused a parking lot accident.  Determining legal fault for a parking lot accident requires a careful examination of the circumstances and facts surrounding the victim’s injuries.

The growth of parking lots and garages, which provide easy access to shopping malls, office buildings, schools, and airports, has also led to an increase in parking lot injuries and accidents. Individuals hurt in a parking lot accident may have been hit by a car or have fallen on snow, but regardless, they maintain legal rights.  When someone else’s negligence causes an injury, they may be held legally responsible for damages.

Legally, property owners and property managers must maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.  Failing to do so may give rise to a premises liability claim. The injured victim would argue that the owner did not meet their legal duty of maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition.

Understanding what is “reasonable” is often the crux of a legal claim.  Property owners are not required to keep their premises safe from all possible harm, since that would be a nearly impossible obligation to meet.  In order for an injured individual to recover damages from a property owner, the danger must have been apparent during regular inspections, or the owner must have been given notice of the danger.  Additionally, owners must have been provided a reasonable time to repair the dangerous condition, once they were made aware of its existence.

Potential dangers posed by parking lots may include cracks or potholes, as well as broken stairwell banisters, debris, burned-out lights, and slippery substances.  If a danger has been reported to the manager or owner, or the defect is large enough to be seen, the owner will likely be determined to have had notice of the danger.

Unfortunately, pedestrians can suffer serious injuries in parking lot accidents.  Accidents are caused by driver inattention or negligence, particularly when stop or yield signs are ignored.  Additionally, pedestrians may feel a false sense of security inside a parking structure.

Vehicle collisions in a parking garage are common. One type of parking lot auto accident takes place when a car is backing out of a space and strikes another parked or moving car.

Slip and falls, or tripping incidents inside a parking structure or in a parking lot, can be caused by inclement weather or other factors. Uneven pavement and slippery surfaces can cause individuals to injure themselves when they hit the pavement or asphalt.  Again, when the property owner or manager could have prevented the issue or helped to avoid the accident but failed to do so, they may be liable for damages.

At Needle Law Firm, we can help you understand your legal rights and obligations following a parking lot accident.  Whether you have been struck by a car or have fallen because of snow or ice, we can help represent your rights and pursue compensation from the at-fault party.  Discuss your claim today with a car accident attorney by calling 570-344-1266. We also can be contacted through our online form.

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