You probably don’t think much about being involved in an accident as you walk through a parking lot; after all, this is probably something you do almost every day.
If you trip and fall in a parking lot, there’s a good chance your ego will be a bit bruised; however, there’s a possibility you may suffer more severe injuries, too.
According to Florida law, parking lots in the state are labeled as “zones of danger.”
If you are involved in a trip and fall incident in a Florida parking lot, it’s recommended that you hire a Florida personal injury attorney from Zimmet & Zimmet to help with your case and to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Learn more about these accidents and your rights here.
Common Types of Trip and Fall Accidents in Florida Parking Lots
There are several situations where you may experience a trip and fall accident in a Florida parking lot. Some of the most common are described here.
A wheel stop, or tire stop, is a three-foot-long concrete log barrier found at the top of a parking space. As you walk through a parking lot, you must watch for these since tripping over them can cause a serious injury.
It’s important for wheel stops in parking lots to be in line and placed properly. This will ensure that people walking through a parking lot know where they should be. When the wheel stop is where it’s expected to be, it reduces the possibility of a trip and fall incident.
Sometimes, vehicles can move these parking lot elements. If this happens, parking lot attendants should fix it before an accident occurs.
Also, it’s important for these wheel stops to be easy to see. One way this can be done is by painting them a bright color and ensuring the stops are at a proper height so they stop a vehicle tire. While this is important, the barrier should not be so high that an elderly person or child would have trouble stepping over it.
Related Article: Why Are Slip And Fall Accidents So Dangerous?
The purpose of a handicap ramp is to help individuals with permanent or temporary injuries. These are beneficial for society. While these ramps aim to help people who are incapacitated or injured, they can also cause harm in some situations.
Sometimes, a handicapped ramp can cause people to slip and fall if it protrudes too far into a parking lot and no markings show it is a handicapped access area.
If there are no painted areas in the parking lot or adequate signage to let those walking through the parking lot know about the ramp, they may not be aware of it, which can result in a trip and fall.
According to information from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the proper measurements for parking spaces are:
- 9 feet wide
- 18 feet deep
- 24 feet between the rows of parked vehicles
While experts suggest this standard sizing is used for spacing parking lots, no law in Florida requires this. Additionally, there’s no legal standard for pedestrian walkways in Florida parking lots.
Improper or bad spacing (which is done to fit more cars in the parking lot) occurs regularly. Overfilling a parking lot will likely result in more slip-and-fall accidents.
Are you wondering why?
In every parking lot, the parked vehicles block a lot of hazards and objects as you walk through the lot. The danger is increased if the parking lot design is done to fit as many vehicles as possible in the space. The risk is increased further if no pedestrian walkways are added to the parking lot design.
Unpainted Speed Bumps
Adding speed bumps is smart because they keep vehicles from going too fast through the parking lot. However, if the speed bumps are not painted so they can be seen easily – especially when it is raining or at night – they can cause a trip and fall accident.
Also, speed bumps that are “aggressive” when trying to keep cars moving at a proper speed through the lot are often higher than people expect. This is true for drivers and someone walking in the parking lot.
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries involving a trip and fall over a hazardous or high speed bump occur regularly in Florida.
Parking Lot Condition
Sometimes, parking lots aren’t asphalt. In Florida, you will encounter grassy fields being used as parking lots. However, these must be properly maintained to ensure the safety of anyone using them.
If there are hazards in a parking lot, regardless of whether it is paved or grass, the owner must warn of the dangers. The owner also has the duty of protecting those just walking through the area to get to their destination and those parking their vehicle in the lot.
All Florida parking lots should be well-lit during the day and night. The spaces should be clearly defined, and the walking areas should be usable. Any possible dangers and hazards should be marked with a warning. Parking lot owners must keep people safe in the parking lot on an ongoing basis.
What to Do if You Trip and Fall in a Florida Parking Lot
If you trip and fall in a Florida parking lot, you should take the right steps to protect yourself and your rights to compensation. These steps include:
- Remain where you are and ask for help. You shouldn’t try to stand up too quickly or leave the scene. You may experience an internal injury that may not be apparent immediately.
- Seek medical care or call 911. You should not put off treatment.
- Document your accident as much as possible. This includes taking pictures of the scene and asking witnesses to provide statements about what they say and their contact information.
- Report your fall to the owner of the property and consider contacting the police and filing a report.
- Take steps to protect your legal rights by contacting a personal injury attorney before you talk to an insurance adjuster. You should never agree to give a recorded statement after your accident.
Why You Should Not Put Off Medical Treatment After a Trip and Fall Accident in a Parking Lot
You may think you are uninjured after tripping and falling in a parking lot. This may make you walk away without reporting the incident or filing a claim.
However, some injuries can take days, weeks, or months to appear. If you wait to seek medical treatment until you have symptoms, it may be impossible to prove your injuries were caused by your trip and fall incident.
By seeking treatment right away, you have documentation of injuries. This documentation can be used to prove how severe your injuries were and how they may impact your life in the future. This is information that you can use to prove how much compensation you should receive.
Related Article: 5 Tactics The Insurance Companies Use To Get You To Settle
Common Questions About Trip and Fall Parking Lot Accidents
While many of your questions about trip and fall parking lot accidents were answered above, there are a few others you may have that are answered here.
Should you hire an attorney for help after a trip and fall accident in a parking lot?
While there is no legal requirement for hiring an attorney to help with a personal injury lawsuit, it is advised. An attorney understands the law and can help you recover the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
How much will it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay unless we successfully help you recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Our team will then take a percentage from your award, which is agreed upon before signing a contract.
What factors determine your personal injury compensation?
Several factors will be considered when you file a personal injury claim. For example, the severity of your injuries and their long-term effect comes into play. Your attorney will also look at your medical costs, lost wages, and other things to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Trip and Fall Parking Lot Injury Claim
If you tripped and fell in a parking lot and suffered an injury, our personal injury attorneys at Zimmet & Zimmet can provide the legal representation you need. Our legal team will work to gather evidence to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.