You've probably never even thought about the act of driving or walking in a parking lot as something that could be unsafe or dangerous.
But a recent report published by The National Safety Council, (NSC), points out that over 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots or parking garages, resulting in at least 500 fatalities and over 60,000 injuries. And those statistics relate only to the number of reported crashes, not all the minor fender benders that often go unreported.
The report also says parking lot crashes increase during the Holidays, which one can easily understand if you've ever participated in Black Friday sales events.
With the advent of technology come the added distractions of doing something you shouldn't be while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is as much, if not more, a problem in parking lots than out on the open road. It is common, unfortunately, for people to hop in their car after shopping at the mall or attending a concert or sporting event and check their phones. They may want look at their most recent texts or emails, update their social media profile or get directions to their next destination. Which would not be a problem if they did while their car was stationary, instead of cruising out of a parking lot.
The Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at Goldberg Noone, LLC, has handled many parking lot crashes over the past 18 years. Our experience has shown that there are several factors that may come into play in the case of someone suffering a serious injury in a parking lot crash:
- Overall parking lot layout and design
- Visibility – do bushes, trees, signs or other obstructions prevent drivers from seeing other cars and pedestrians?
- Maintenance – Does the parking lot have a lot of potholes or other hazards?
- Lighting – Is there adequate lighting after dark?
- Pavement markings – Are there sufficient markings to denote the direction of traffic and where the parking spaces are?
- Parking stops – Does every spot have a stop, or just a few?
- Speed bumps – Does the parking lot use speed bumps to slow traffic down?
- Handicap accessibility – Are there adequate places for people to get from the parking lot to the store if they're in a wheelchair or using a walker, and are they properly marked?
Your Team of Experts
When our law firm takes on a case where someone was seriously hurt in a parking lot, there are several things we do to make sure we are presenting the absolute best case on their behalf. We hire independent experts in several fields to help us prepare to fight for fair and reasonable financial compensation for your injuries, medical care, property damage, lost wages if you're rendered unable to work, and more.
We work with forensic engineers, accident reconstructionists and others who are certified experts in things like parking lot engineering and design, construction, traffic patterns and other disciplines who prepare and compile extensive reports and data to help your case.
We also fully investigate the government entities and building officials responsible for the approvals and oversight of designing and constructing the parking lot, the construction firms who built it, and the engineers who planned it.
The experts we work with are intimately familiar with ASTM, a global organization that publishes thousands of publications dealing with safety and quality standards for just about everything under the sun. And you may find it hard to believe, but there are recognized standards published for categories like cement and concrete, paving, masonry, adhesives, paints and many other factors involving the design and construction of parking lots. Our experts can ascertain whether any element of a parking lot may not have been designed or built to the applicable safety and quality codes and standards.
Reducing Your Risk of a Parking Lot Crash
There are several things you can do to help reduce the possibility of being hurt in a parking lot crash.
- Don't cut across a parking lot diagonally – use the traffic lanes as they are indicated
- Slow down – keep your speed low and use your turn signals
- Keep an eye on the other drivers around you, and try to anticipate their actions
- Stop at stop signs – just because they're in a parking lot doesn't mean they aren't real
- Look all around you when backing up, watch out for other vehicles and pedestrians
It's best not to rely solely on a vehicle's technology, like a back-up camera or beep or vibration when your car detects something near or behind you. These types of safety features don't always detect a person, a motorcycle or bicycle or other smaller objects.
Our attorneys are skilled in all aspects of vigorously fighting for the rights of parking lot crash victims. Although there are some similarities, there are many unique and challenging factors that come into play when a person has been hurt in a parking lot.
Don't wait after being involved in a crash to get the answers you need. Goldberg Noone attorneys are always available to give you the answers you need, at no cost to you. One phone call to 239-461-5508 or completing this simple form will get you in touch with one of our skilled parking lot injury attorneys, and begin to get your life together.