When it comes to personal safety, most people do not give much thought to public parking lots. In fact, no one really thinks much about a parking lot except that they hope they find an open space near the front door of the store they are visiting.
Parking lots, however, can be dangerous. This is especially true if you are not aware of your surroundings. One of the most common injuries that occur in a public parking lot is a slip and fall. Icy or wet and slippery conditions make it perfect to fall on the hard pavement. Potholes, especially near the edges of walkways can easily cause twisted ankles or falls. In parking garages, poorly lit stairwells can lead to falls or become the perfect place for a violent crime.
So how does one stay safe in a public parking lot or garage?
You want to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings at all times. Do not park in an area that appears to have low visibility to other parts of the parking lot or structure. Make sure that you watch where you are walking, especially if weather conditions make it more susceptible to falling. If possible, park near an overhead light, an exit door or ramp, or close to the entrance of the building.
Stay prepared to enter and exit your vehicle. Keep your keys in your hands at all times and do not put them away until you are safely in the building or in your car. Not only will this provide you with quick access to your locked car should there be any danger, it also provides you with a great self-defense weapon.
Look for parking areas that offer extra security measures such as a security guard, closed circuit cameras or keyed access to the entrances and exits. If you cannot find a parking structure or lot with these types of security features, always try to pick a parking structure that is well lit.
Assumption Of Responsibility
At some point, the owners of the parking lot or structure must assume some responsibility for the events that take place on their property. If people are being hurt, or if criminal acts are taking place, and the owners knowingly have not done anything to prevent these occurrences, they can be held liable for the damages that occurred.
The owner of the lot or structure has an implied obligation to keep the place secure and safe for the patrons. This includes filling potholes, making sure the ice or rain does not create a danger, keeping the place well lit and secure.
If you have been injured in a parking lot or structure, or if you have been a victim of a crime in one of these places, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can review the events surrounding the event and determine if you have the right to sue for compensation.
Giovanna O’Neal is a freelance blogger who reports on these safety reminders for the benefit of those who have the tendency to travel alone. Her research found that, in Syracuse, if injured in a parking lot or otherwise, the team at http://www.bottarlaw.com/syracuse-personal-injury-lawyer/ brings their impressive record of personal injury defense to help the aid and protection of their clients’ rights in court.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94215313@N00/442692499/