When you’re driving through or walking across a parking lot in New Hampshire, the importance of being alert and cautious cannot be understated. Especially if the area is crowded with other pedestrians or motorists, being keenly aware of your surroundings helps keep you safe. There are several issues that increase your risk of suffering injury in a parking lot.
Property owners are obligated to make sure their parking lots are safe for invited guests and visitors. For instance, if you were to visit a parking lot where there was an obvious safety hazard, you could expect the property owner to have a sign posted to warn you of the hazard or, perhaps, to have the area blocked off. If someone suffers an injury in a parking area, the property owner might be liable for damages.
Issues that often cause problems in parking lots
The following list includes five separate issues that increase your risk for danger and injury in a parking lot:
- Insufficient lighting
- Damaged pavement
- Faded or absent line markings for parking
- Snow, slush or ice on the ground
- Non-compliance of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations
One or more of these issues might exist simultaneously, and with each issue comes an increased risk for injury. If you trip and fall in a pothole in a poorly lit parking lot at night, several liability issues might be relevant to your circumstances.
When snow and ice are covering a parking lot
A parking lot owner cannot control the weather; therefore, he or she has no way to predict with 100% certainty when snow or ice might cover a parking area. However, property owners are responsible for parking lot maintenance, which includes snow and ice removal during inclement weather. Keeping the ground as clear as possible reduces the risk for slip-and-fall accidents.
Assaults and robberies often taken place in poorly lit areas at night
If you’re shopping at a store that is open at night, you can expect there to be sufficient lighting in the parking lot. It’s logical to assume that a property owner would understand the importance of providing ample lighting to help customers avoid injuries and also to lower the risk of criminal activity in the area, because many assaults and robberies take place under the cover of darkness.
Recovering from a parking lot injury can be stressful
If you suffer an injury in a New Hampshire parking lot due to a motor vehicle collision in a poorly lit area, falling in a hole or on slippery ground covered with snow and ice, etc., it could take days, even weeks, to recover. If you break a bone or suffer a neck or back injury, you might need specialized care to get well, such as surgery or physical therapy.
Such care is expensive, and there’s no reason you should have to bear the financial burden for an injury you may have avoided were it not for a property owner’s negligence.