Parking lots can be dangerous places, particularly at night. When operators or owners fail to maintain the property or fail to act when they have notice of past incidents of harm, then they can be liable. Parking lots are tempting locations for criminal misconduct. Often times woman are targeted for sexual assault and robberies at night when entering into the parking lot. Other times parking lots outside of restaurants and night clubs can be equally dangerous when intoxicated patrons engage in violence or fighting. In such instances the operator of the establishment using the parking lot or the parking lot owner may be held liable.
Who is liable for my injuries if I was attacked in a Parking Lot
Liabilities for injuries depend on whether the operator or owner of the parking lot owed a duty to the victim. A duty arises when there is a special relationship owed to the victim. A special relationship will exist if you are patron or customer of the establishment or if there is some type of duty owed. If a duty is owed then the operator is required to take minimally burdensome measures to ensure that users of the premises are safe
What are minimally burdensome measures?
This can depend on the nature of previous incidents and what can be done to avoid future harm. For instance adding a security camera, or providing added security measures can be considered minimally invasive. But adding patrol guards, roll down gates and multiple security guards can be considered invasive measures and thus not required. Generally the courts will determine what is or what would be considered minimally invasive.
: Liability can also be imposed when there is prior notice of the incident or similar incidents by the landlord, property owner or occupier. In such instances liability will exist because the past incidents will be considered to place the defendants on notice. Past incidents including, rape, sexual assault, fighting or other forms of criminal misconduct are all valid for notification purposes. Thus, if the defendant knew of past incidents of rape or violence then they should have taken minimally evasive steps to prevent future incidents. If they failed to do so then liability will be extended to the defendant and recovery may be possible.
What damages are recoverable?
Once we can establish liability, you are entitled to recovery for the medical expenses suffered as a result of the incident as well as other non-economic harm. Non-economic harm can be considered pain and suffering for your injuries or emotional distress for your injuries. You can likely recover for all medical related expenses as well as pain and suffering expenses.
What should I do if I have been assaulted in a Parking Lot
First and foremost it is important to determine the extent of your injuries and seek proper medical attention. After seeking medical representation a consultation with an attorney should be scheduled. While property owners are generally liable this may not always be the case. It is important to consult with a qualified professional in order to determine whether you have a cause of action and against whom.
Statute of Limitations – Deadline for Filing Your Case:
The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit against an at fault party. Generally a victim of assault and battery caused
by a lack of security at an establishment has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. For statute of limitations for all 50 states and jurisdictions in the United States see here
Common Parking Lot Attacks and Injuries
Parking lot assault are generally categorized by the following types of injuries:
- Serious and violent assaults, which can cause serious bodily injuries;
- Sexual crimes against women, including rape and sexual assaults. Often time assailants will attempt to commit their violent acts in dark parking lots or parking lot stairwell, or wait until the victim in their vehicle. In such instances the property owner can be liable if the conditions stated above are satisfied; and
- Fighting or brawls, are also common place in parking lots. In such instances the victim can suffer serious head and bodily injuries requiring long term medical treatment and care.
What separates our firm from the rest
Downtown LA Law’s attorneys are motivated, dedicated and aggressive for fighting for your rights. We will apply all of our resources to help maximize your recovery. If you are victim of any type of crime or injury in a parking lot call our offices for a free case evaluation today. You may be entitled to recovery for your loss.