Most people don’t think about their safety when they’re walking through their apartment’s parking lot, along the sidewalk of a hotel, or through the aisles of their local grocery store. But the truth of the matter is that these premises are oftentimes more dangerous than they seem. And when unsuspecting individuals are taken by surprise by dangerous property conditions, they can be left with serious injuries that have long-term implications. After all, injuries suffered in something like a slip and fall accident can leave a victim with extensive medical bills and lost wages due to missing work, not to mention extensive pain and suffering.
What causes these dangerous property conditions?
There can be a lot of property conditions that can pose a risk. Let’s look at some of them here:
- Weather conditions: Snow and ice can make sidewalks and parking lots at hotels, grocery stores, and apartment complexes extraordinarily slippery. Even if sidewalks seem clear, black ice can leave you susceptible to a slip and fall accident. This is why property owners are expected to quickly clear snow and ice from their premises.
- Poor lighting: Inadequate lighting can also contribute to a slip and fall accident. If you’re unable to see where you’re walking, then you might miss existing hazards, such as spilled substances, slick surfaces, broken sidewalks, and potholes in parking lots. Any of these can cause you to slip or trip and fall, resulting in serious injuries.
- Improperly maintained surfaces: Sidewalks and parking lots deteriorate over time. If the property owner doesn’t ensure that they are properly maintained and repaired, then they can pose a significant hazard to those who walk across them. This is especially true when sidewalks are cracked, thereby causing concrete to jut upwards and thus creating a tripping hazard, or when parking lots develop holes that can cause you to step in them and seriously injure your ankle or leg.
- Unexpected spills: Certain substances that are spilled on sidewalks and parking lots can create a slippery situation. When you aren’t properly warned of these hazardous conditions and the property owner doesn’t quickly clean it up, then you could end up slipping, falling, and suffering extensive injuries.
Proving your premises liability case
If you’ve been injured in the parking lot or on the sidewalk of your apartment complex or at a hotel or other business, then you need to know how to protect your interests. This, of course, may mean taking legal action against the property owner whose negligence resulted in your accident and your injuries.
But in order to prove your claim, you’re going to have to show that the property owner either knew or should’ve known about the property condition but failed to act accordingly to warn you of the condition and quickly remedy it. Getting witness statements, obtaining security video, and taking pictures after the accident scene can all be helpful for proving your claim. So, too, can gaining access to maintenance records that show whether routine inspections of the premises were conducted.
Take the fight to those responsible for your injuries
If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence and were therefore avoidable, then you deserve to be compensated for your losses. But arguing for the outcome that you want can be contentious and stressful. And if you don’t know the law, then you might be putting yourself at risk of losing out on the compensation that you deserve.
That’s why you might find it beneficial to work closely with a legal professional who will help you build your case and present the arguments that you need to position yourself for success. Hopefully then you can find accountability and recover the compensation that you need to make yourself whole again.