Premises liability does not only cover the inside of a building. A property owner can also be responsible for injuries stemming from a fall in a parking lot. It depends on whether the owner was negligent in clearing hazards or repairing defects in the lot.
The National Safety Council explains common problems in parking lots that may cause pedestrians to slip and fall or experience other serious injuries.
Parking lot damage
Parking lots tend to suffer disrepair over time. Cracks and potholes sometimes form in the pavement. Debris may gather, particularly after a storm. Tree branches, rocks, dirt, and concrete can litter a lot and create trip hazards.
Bad weather could also increase the chances of injury. Potholes may fill up with water, masking their presence until it is too late to avoid them. A snowstorm might leave snow and ice on a lot, creating slip hazards.
Not enough lighting
Parking lots should be safe for visitors during the night. Light posts that do not function or insufficient lights on the lot can create dangerous conditions. Pedestrians may fall or wander into dangerous areas due to lack of visibility. Older pedestrians in particular could suffer falls.
A lack of light could also be a problem if there are not enough pedestrian crossing lanes or parking stripes. A lot without clear markings could make it hard for visitors to find their way. Signs should also be available to guide pedestrians and drivers.
One or more of these hazards may be enough to make a lot owner liable for injuries you suffer in a parking lot.