You’re walking through a parking garage, minding your own business, and next thing you know, you slip on a patch of ice and find yourself in the ER. Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon chain of events in parking garages across the country. When parking garage owners fail to maintain and keep their facilities safe, serious injuries can occur. If you slipped and fell in a parking garage, you may be faced with expensive medical bills and lost wages from time spent recovering from your injuries. A Philadelphia premises liability attorney at The Reiff Law Firm discusses parking garage premises liability in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Slip and Fall Statistics and Causes
According to a study by the National Safety Council (NSC), falls in parking lots and garages are extremely common, with falls named as a leading cause of death for older adults. If parking garages are not well lit or otherwise maintained, it can be very easy for visitors to slip on ice or to trip over uneven pavement. Some of the most common causes of slip and falls include:
- Wet floors
- Ice patches
- Poor lighting
- Inadequate floor coverings
- Unsafe stairwells
- Uneven pavement
It is especially important to be careful in parking garages throughout the winter months and beginning of spring because of fickle weather conditions. Rain, hail, sleet, and snow can build up to create dangerous conditions on parking lot floors and in stairwells.
Tips to Avoid Slip and Fall Injuries
It can be difficult to see if a floor is uneven or if stairs are slick with ice. There are, however, some tips that can help parking garage visitors avoid serious fall-related injuries. Some of the following are tips for staying safe in a parking garage:
- Stay off your cell phone. When a person is too busy texting, exploring social media or making phone calls, it is easy to overlook unsafe conditions that might be present.
- Watch out for black ice. After it snows or sleets, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if the ground is icy because it appears to be invisible. Black ice can have a glossy appearance and easily blends in with the ground it covers.
- Be careful getting into your car. Practice caution when entering and exiting your vehicle.
- Especially during the winter months, wear slip-resistant shoes or boots. Although snow boots don’t seem like the most fashionable choice in footwear, they can protect you from serious injuries and even death. You can always change into your regular shoes when you reach your destination.
- Try to keep your hands free. When you are carrying a bunch of items, it is easy to lose your balance.
- Utilize the flashlight on your phone. Many people are unaware of the fact that their smartphones have built-in flashlights. If a stairwell is dark, or if the ground looks like it might be covered in black ice, use your flashlight as a guide in order to prevent you from falling.
Premises Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
After being injured by slipping and falling in a parking garage, it can be difficult for victims to navigate the legal system in order to recover damages. Who is liable for parking garage injuries? The security guard? The owner and operator? Retaining the legal services of a skilled Philadelphia slip and fall accident attorney is an essential resource in maximizing financial recovery.
Parking garage owners have a legal duty of care to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner. In order for an owner to be held liable, it must be shown that the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall should have been discovered during a routine inspection, or, if the owner already knew about the condition, some type of warning should have been provided to visitors of the garage. The elements that must be proven in order for a victim to succeed on a premises liability claim include:
- The defendant leased, owned or operated the parking garage that the victim was injured in.
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to keep the properly reasonably safe and they breached that duty of care.
- The victim suffered harm as a result of the breach.
- The defendant’s actions were the cause of damages to the victim.
Philadelphia Parking Garage Slip and Fall Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love have been injured in a slip and fall accident in a parking garage, call the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm right away. Our attorneys have decades of experience litigating complex premises liability cases, and we fight tirelessly for our clients to receive the compensation they deserve. Call our law offices today at (215) 246-9000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an attorney you can trust.