Written by: Portrait Photo Of Chad M. Prentice Chad M. Prentice

When you are going to an appointment, shopping or doing errands, the simple act of parking your car and walking to a building or store is a routine activity. However, hidden dangers exist that can result in a fall or other injuries that can be serious and life changing.

Those hazards include everything from slippery and uneven surfaces to poor lighting that attracts criminal activity. Visitors who suffer injuries from a defect or physical assault may have a legitimate claim for a personal injury lawsuit.

A growing, but preventable problem

Statistics are not on the side of accident victims. According to National Safety Council data from 2019, falls accounted for the second leading cause of death that could have been prevented. Number one was poisoning, and number three was motor vehicle accidents. More shocking, perhaps is that falls were the number one cause of preventable nonfatal injuries.

The number of visitors injured from defects in parking lots continues to grow in California and elsewhere. Sadly, these injuries could be prevented if property owners and property managers took the time and care needed to maintain parking lots and other structures for which they are responsible.

Property owners could do more

Steps that property managers and owners can take include:

  • A structured and consistent maintenance schedule to attend to potholes and pavement cracks, holes, debris, and depressions
  • Proper exterior lighting, particularly for people walking on the property at night
  • Signage to designate entrances, exits, crosswalks, parking lots, and pickup and drop-off locations
  • Yellow safety paint on curbs to warn walkers of level changes
  • Orange cones to cover potential hazards until they can be fixed
  • Signage to warn walkers of possibly slippery areas of concern
  • Secure and stable handrails and guardrails on ramps and highlighted stairs
  • Dumpsters and recycling receptacles placed in well-lit areas and close to the building
  • Adequate levels of security personnel on patrol to protect/escort both staff and visitors and prevent theft, potentially assault and other injuries

Property owners that fall short of the safety standards on their premises could be held accountable for severe injuries and fatalities. Attending to all details to keep sidewalks and parking lots safe can prevent not only personal injury lawsuits but also save lives.

By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on March 11, 2021