Who’s responsible for a slip and fall accident in a parking lot?
Another bad winter storm is upon the region and this one involves an icy mix. On days on this, slip and fall accidents are numerous, especially if you are visiting a commercial property. Unlike a snowy day, where the store will have someone plowing away the danger, not much can be done for an icy parking lot other than throwing down a handful of rock salt.
Let’s say you are going to the store to pick up a few items. The parking lot looks slick but walkable. As you gingerly leave your car and walk to the store, you realize that the parking lot is really a sheet of ice. You slip, fall, and break your arm. Who is responsible for your injury since you are not in the store just yet?
As premises liability tells us, if you are on someone else’s property than the property owner is responsible for the safety of his/her visitors. So in this case, it would be the store owner’s fault for not keeping the parking lot safe. But what if the store rents out space from a larger commercial property, such as a mall. Who then is responsible? Like in the case of an apartment building, the responsibility to keep the parking lot safe would be the owner of the commercial property and not the store owner.
Whenever there’s an accident on someone else’s property, the person who owns the property is the one responsible unless the accident was caused by negligence of the accident victim. But this doesn’t mean your slip and fall accident is an open and shut case. The insurance company will fight the claim. So remember if you are in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you get sufficient evidence that shows the area was unsafe. Take photos or videos of the parking lot’s condition and try to get witness testimony.