No one expects to slip and fall when leaving a restaurant or becoming injured and requiring medical attention. Yet, this is something that happens. When someone slips and falls in a restaurant parking lot, they may be owed compensation for any injuries sustained in the fall. Knowing who to request compensation from, however, is a little more complicated. It is a good idea to seek legal assistance after a slip and fall in a restaurant parking lot, as this will help ensure compensation is requested from the correct party and that it’s sufficient to cover all injury-related expenses. Read below to learn more about liability for slip and fall accidents in a restaurant parking lot and what to do if it happens in Atlanta, Georgia.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Parking Lots
Parking lots are generally considered safe areas to walk, so long as attention is paid to the vehicles driving through. However, there are various different issues that could cause someone to slip and fall, whether or not they’re paying close attention to where they’re walking. Some of the most common causes in restaurant parking lots include the following.
Cracks or Uneven Pavement
The biggest cause of slip and fall accidents in restaurant parking lots is due to cracks or uneven pavement. Damaged areas of the pavement should be blocked off until they can be repaired or marked so those walking through know to look out and walk carefully.
Debris or Trash
Debris or trash in the parking lot can cause someone to fall if they step on it or trip over it. A plastic bag may not seem like a hazard, but it can be slippery if someone steps on it unexpectedly, especially if it is wet. The restaurant or property owner should keep the parking lot free of debris or trash.
Little or No Lighting
Restaurants are frequented at night, so if there is little to no lighting in the parking lot, it’s possible for someone to end up slipping or tripping because they can’t see potential hazards. The owner of the parking lot should ensure lights come on at dusk and are in good condition at all times.
Ice and Snow
When the weather turns cold, ice and snow are potential hazards, as it is all too easy to end up slipping on a patch of ice that wasn’t noticeable. The owner of the parking lot should prevent this by removing snow and salting as needed.
Is it Possible to Collect Compensation for an Injury in a Parking Lot?
Yes, it is possible to collect compensation when someone is injured in a slip and fall in a restaurant parking lot. If the person is not at fault for the accident or their injuries, they can request compensation from the at-fault party. It is important to determine the correct party to request compensation from, which can be a little more complicated in commercial spaces. It may be necessary to do some research to determine who is liable for accidents and injuries in the parking lot.
Determining Liability – Who is Responsible for Preventing Falls?
Restaurants may be liable for what happens in their parking lot under Georgia law. The law states that the owner of the property is responsible for its upkeep and liable for an accident that occurs on the property due to their neglect. Neglect can cover a wide range of situations, from failing to prevent an accident by keeping the property in a safe condition or from doing something that led to the slip and fall happening. How the slip and fall happened can become important when determining liability, as neglect needs to be shown for the property owner to be held liable.
Since the property owner is responsible for the parking lot, it becomes necessary to find out who owns the property. In many cases, the restaurant will own the property and, therefore, can be held liable for slip and fall accidents that occur in the parking lot. Some restaurants, on the other hand, rent the property. The landlord of the restaurant could be the liable party in these situations. It is important to note, though, that this depends on the details of the lease. Some lease agreements pass on upkeep and liability to the restaurant, so just because they rent the property doesn’t mean they won’t be liable for a slip and fall accident.
Immediate Actions After a Fall
After a slip and fall accident, it is crucial for the injured person to seek medical attention. For more serious injuries, an ambulance may be needed. Even if the injuries seem minor at first, it is a good idea to get medical care as soon as possible after the accident. Injuries can get worse as the adrenaline from the incident is reduced, and the medical costs will help with determining compensation for the accident.
If possible, it is a good idea to get evidence of how the accident happened before leaving the scene. If someone slipped and fell due to debris in the parking lot, a photo can show the state of the parking lot when the accident happened. If it’s not possible to take photos at the scene, it may be possible to take them later, but it is always a good idea to do this as soon as possible.
Contacting Insurance to Request Compensation
The insurance company for the liable party is who will typically offer a settlement after a slip and fall accident. It is necessary to determine who is liable for the accident to find out which insurance company to contact. If the restaurant does not provide insurance information, it may be a good idea to seek help with getting this information, as it is the first step in asking for compensation for any injuries. Once the insurance company is called, they will likely offer a settlement. Injured persons should speak with a lawyer before accepting the settlement to make sure it’s sufficient. If a settlement isn’t offered or it’s not going to cover all injury-related expenses, the lawyer can help with negotiations or taking the case to court.
What Compensation is Available?
Compensation will vary based on the injuries sustained, as well as other factors. Common types of compensation for slip and fall accidents could include medical costs, property damage if something was broken in the fall, and coverage for lost wages while recovering. If the restaurant has had issues with slip and fall accidents in the past and the case goes to court before a settlement is reached, it may be possible to request punitive damages, too. These vary from case to case but can be additional funds meant to discourage the restaurant from allowing more slip and fall accidents to occur.
Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, so it is important for anyone who is injured in this type of accident to learn more about potential compensation. However, determining liability for a slip and fall accident in a restaurant parking lot isn’t always easy to do. If you’ve been in a slip and fall accident in a restaurant parking lot, contact Latin Law Group in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-890-5868 for help today and learn more about the options available to you to receive compensation for your injuries.
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