Businesses, residential buildings, malls, hospitals, schools, and colleges across Chicago all have one thing in common: large parking lots and garages navigated by pedestrians and motorists.
Without proper safety measures in place, anything can happen. Pedestrians can get struck by inattentive drivers. Icy conditions can result in a slip and fall. The vulnerable can be targeted for robberies and violence.
Parking lots and garages can be especially dangerous during the winter months due to winter conditions and reduced daylight. Here’s why.
Inattentive drivers endanger pedestrians
In December 2019, two pedestrians were struck in a hit-and-run at the Orlando Park Mall parking lot, according to ABC Chicago. The two pedestrians were hit after walking out of the Square Celt Restaurant. Both were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of them was pronounced dead. The other pedestrian was reportedly in serious condition.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable in parking lots, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter and ice and snow create slippery surfaces. It doesn’t take much speed to cause a severe or fatal pedestrian injury. According to AAA, it can happen at an impact speed as low as 16 mph.
Parking lot pedestrian collisions are often the result of:
- Distraction by cellphones, store signs, and other external sources
- Speeding or behaving recklessly
- Not looking both ways before turning or backing out of a parking space
- Some drivers even accidentally hitting the gas pedal instead of the brakes
Slip and fall hazards
Business and property owners have a duty to keep all walking areas clear and easy to access on foot, including parking lots. Slip and falls may occur when business or property owners fail to:
- Clear snow and ice within a reasonable period
- Clean up clutter and debris within a reasonable period
- Fix uneven surfaces, potholes, and large cracks in a timely manner
- Provide adequate lighting
You may be eligible to pursue a premises liability lawsuit if any of these factors caused you to slip and fall.
Robberies and assaults
Parking lots and parking garages are a haven for criminals who prey on unsuspecting victims. In September 2019, a woman was robbed and carjacked at a parking garage in the South Loop area, according to CBS Chicago. Two armed men in their 20s told the woman to get on the ground before taking her personal belongings and taking off in her car.
Property owners must provide adequate security, as well as adequate lighting and surveillance cameras. In many cases, the presence of surveillance cameras is enough to ward off cautious criminals.
If you were robbed or assaulted in a parking lot or parking garage, you maybe be eligible for a negligent security claim.
Exploring your legal options
If you were injured while walking through a Chicago parking lot, you have the right to take legal action. The attorneys at Coplan + Crane handle a wide range of personal injury claims. We can investigate the cause of your injury by:
- Examining the location where it happened
- Obtaining surveillance footage
- Obtaining a police report
- Speaking to witnesses
Our legal team is dedicated to helping clients recover all damages accrued from medical costs, wage loss, pain, and suffering. To find out how we can help you, contact us online for a free case evaluation.