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Who is liable for a slip-and-fall accident in a parking lot?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Blog, Personal Injury

It is not uncommon for individuals to slip, fall and injure themselves while going about everyday activities. This includes walking in parking lots. Numerous factors can contribute to such incidents, from the clothes they are wearing to their physical state.

An important factor is the state of the parking lot itself. When individuals sustain injuries falling in a parking lot because of its poor condition, the owner may bear legal responsibility.

Duty of care

Property owners in New York have a duty to maintain safe premises. They must perform maintenance and promptly address potential dangers. This includes parking lots. If the slip-and-fall occurred due to icy surfaces, potholes, inadequate lighting or other dangers, the property owner may be liable.

Municipal liability

The responsibility for slip-and-fall incidents may extend to the municipality or local government. Public parking lots maintained by the city must meet safety standards. If there is a hazard due to negligence, the municipality may be liable for resulting injuries.

Business responsibility

Businesses operating from a building may share responsibility for slip-and-fall incidents in their parking lot. Business owners are responsible for maintaining the areas they occupy. Failure to address and rectify dangerous conditions could lead to shared liability.

Contributory negligence

New York follows a comparative negligence system. Individuals who do not exercise reasonable care or knowingly expose themselves to a hazard may be partially liable.

According to statistics the National Floor Safety Institute gathered, slip-and-fall accidents represent 12% of total falls, with falls in general being the leading cause behind emergency room visits. Slips-and-falls can result in serious injuries. When they happen in parking lots because the state of the parking lots is in poor shape, injured individuals may be able to hold owners legally liable, though they themselves may also bear some responsibility.

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