Who’s Responsible if You Slip and Fall in a Store Parking Lot?
Property owners are responsible for keeping their properties clean and safe for pedestrians. If they fail to do so and their negligence results in injury, they can be held accountable in a civil court.
As winter approaches and temperatures fall, outdoor areas can become icy and dangerous for pedestrians. Every year in Missouri, people of all ages suffer slip and fall injuries in store parking lots that have not been adequately maintained or cleared.
You may be entitled to compensation if you have slipped or fallen in an improperly maintained store parking lot. The experienced lawyers at Cofman Townsley have nearly 50 years of experience fighting hard for St. Louis families. We have won over $300 million for our clients and will help you get the maximum compensation for your injury.
Who is Responsible for Maintaining Parking Lots?
Missouri requires all property owners to keep all areas of their property, both indoors and outdoors, safe and in good condition. They should use reasonable care to keep areas accessible to the public and free from potentially harmful damage.
For instance, if there are icy conditions on the property, the owner must place a warning sign so pedestrians can take precautions and avoid them and/or take measures to remove the ice. Property owners must also repair any potholes and other hazards on the property that customers would not expect to encounter during their visit.
If a store owner fails to maintain a safe property and someone sustains an injury, they are legally liable for any injuries under Missouri law.
What to do if You Slip and Fall in a Store Parking Lot
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident in a store parking lot, there are steps you should take to ensure you receive the compensation you are due.
Seek Medical Care
If you slip or fall, you must visit a doctor as soon as possible for a medical examination. Some injuries, such as concussions, might not show symptoms until hours after an accident.
Your doctor can use X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs to diagnose your condition and develop a care plan to treat it. The medical records from your doctor can help your lawyer calculate the dollar amount of your settlement and form the basis of your claim.
Report the Accident
After you have received medical attention, it is important to report the incident to the authorities. You should call the local police jurisdiction non-emergency number and inform them that you want to file an incident report for your slip and fall accident in the parking lot.
The police can investigate the accident site, ask for witness statements, and interview you and the property owner to create a report. They can also ask about your injuries sustained and if you need medical assistance. You can use the report in your liability claim against the store owner.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Gather evidence from the accident site to establish the conditions of the area when you fell. Make sure to do so as soon as possible, as the site might be cleaned up and obstacles removed to make it look different than it was when your accident took place. You can collect these critical pieces of evidence:
- Pictures and videos of the accident site showing the icy and slippery conditions
- Security camera footage
- Torn and damaged clothing if your fall caused rips, tears, or left stains
If possible, take photographs of your clothing and your injures while at the scene. Proving that you were wearing proper cold weather gear is essential to refuting the property owner’s claim that you are at fault for failing to prepare for the weather. Preserve any damaged clothing until the time of the trial. This can prove that damage was done at the scene and not later.
Obtain Witness Testimony
Witness testimony can be crucial in proving your fall is a result of owner negligence. These witnesses can recount the incident from an impartial perspective and corroborate your accident.
For instance, they can state that the parking lot was icy, and they did not see anyone from the store cleaning the area regularly. If a witness took a video or has pictures of the event, ask for copies to give to your lawyer for review.
Submit Your Slip and Fall Claim with Cofman Townsley
If you have slipped or fallen in a store parking lot, you should speak to an experienced attorney at Cofman Townsley. Our legal team has decades of experience, and we know what it takes to build a strong slip and fall liability case.
Contact our law office for a free consultation. We will ensure that those responsible get held accountable, and you get the compensation you deserve.