Accidents that take place in parking lots in New York and around the country claim about 500 lives and injure more than 50,000 people each year according to the National Safety Council. This is a major concern for premises owners because they may be held legally responsible for preventable accidents that take place in parking lots and on sidewalks adjacent to their buildings. Property owners owe their workers and visitors a duty of care, and they can protect themselves against premises liability lawsuits by doing all that they reasonably can to see that this duty is met.
Marking parking spaces clearly and placing arrows to let drivers know the correct route to take can avoid many parking lot accidents. Clear signage is especially important near blind spots and sharp turns. Parking lot light bulbs should be checked regularly because proper illumination can reduce collisions, deter criminals and prevent violence. Installing security cameras and placing signs that state the area is under surveillance can also improve parking lot safety.
Maintaining parking lots is also important as unfilled potholes and cracks can damage automobiles and cause slip-and-fall accidents. The winter weather in New York can be treacherous, and premises owners should take steps to ensure that parking lots and sidewalks are properly salted or sanded when conditions are likely to be icy. Accumulations of snow can also reduce the amount of parking spots available and make navigating parking lots more difficult.
When their clients have been injured in parking lots, experienced personal injury attorneys may visit the accident scene to assess the steps the property owner has taken to meet their duty of care. Attorneys might also check court records for previous premises liability litigation. The information gathered may then be used to establish a pattern of negligent behavior in court or encourage property owners to settle lawsuits at the negotiating table.