Parking garages are a common sight in many cities and towns, providing an easy way for people to park their cars in an otherwise busy area. Parking lot owners are responsible for maintaining a reasonable level of safety in their facility and when they don’t, many slip, trip, and fall hazards can appear.
Potential Slip and Fall Hazards in a Parking Garage
Concrete and asphalt are the two common materials used in building parking garages and parking lots. Both of these materials are subject to damage from change in weather conditions, shifting of the earth and foundation, and the average wear and tear caused by high amounts of foot and car traffic. Both of these materials are easily subject to cracking and warping.
If the owner of the parking lot or garage does not maintain the pavement properly, it can result in a trip and fall accident that could have been easily prevented. Cracked or uneven pavement, potholes, debris, oil, and ice can all be extremely hazardous if left on the pavement in a walk way and not taken care of.
A facility that is not adequately lit can facilitate trip and fall accidents and even criminal acts. Inadequate lighting can make it hard to see potholes, debris on the ground, and uneven pavement, especially for people who already have vision problems. An inadequately lit staircase can also be very dangerous and easy for someone to trip and fall down on.
Parking garages are often more than one floor and usually have a staircase somewhere in them. Depending on the building codes of the city or town the parking garage is located in, they may be required by law to have a banister in the staircase. Many people rely on these banisters to get up and down staircases safely, especially if the stairs are wet from the rain or snow or the person in question has mobility problems. If these banisters break and not repaired in an adequate time frame, many patrons of the garage are put at risk. Since staircases in parking garages are often made of concrete, the injuries that can be sustained by falling down the steps can be especially serious and can result in a serious brain injury or broken limbs.
Snow and Ice in the Winter
Winter conditions can disrupt the life of many people and can be especially dangerous in a parking garage. There is potential for ice to accumulate on the roof of the garage, melt, and drip puddles of water to areas where they not normally are. Because of the structural nature of parking garages, some areas may not ever be exposed to much direct sunlight, allowing ice patches to accumulate and then not melt for a while. The sloping surfaces of parking garages can also allow ice to melt down a slope, accumulate at the bottom, and then refreeze into another ice patch. If the owner of the parking garage does not adequately take care of these conditions, it can be easy for a patron to slip, fall, and seriously injure themselves.
Steps to Take After a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident in a Parking Garage
Regain your composure
A slip and fall accident is startling, even more startling if you feel as if you have injured yourself. It is important to take a few minutes to try to compose yourself after the accident. Take a few deep breaths and try to calm yourself down. If you are calm and relatively composed, it will be easier for you to communicate to others on how to help you best.
Document the Accident Scene
Document the scene of the accident as best as you can. If possible, take pictures of the scene and take notes. If there were witnesses, gather their contact information. Many parking garages have surveillance video tapes that your slip and fall lawyer may be able to gain access to if needed.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel that you are seriously injured, seek medical attention anyway. A doctor will be able to provide official documentation of your injuries and monitor any small injuries in the event that they turn into something more serious.
Consult an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
If you wish to seek compensation for your injuries caused by an unsafe parking facility, contact an experienced slip and fall attorney. They will be able to guide you through the process and fight for your justice. If the parking facility is owned by the government, having an experienced lawyer on your team will be crucial. Filing lawsuits against the government can be very tricky and there are often timelines and deadlines that need to be met. A slip and fall lawyers will understand this process and be able to handle your case in a timely and efficient manner. Contact the slip and fall attorneys at Lever Gottfried Ecker today for a free consultation and case evaluation.