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What should you know about injuries caused by parking lot potholes?

People visiting businesses often have to walk through a parking lot to get from their cars to the operations at issue. As such, companies are legally tasked with keeping their parking lots in good repair.

A parking lot that’s not in good shape can lead to patrons suffering injuries. Uneven pavement, potholes and other defects in the surface can lead to trip-and-fall events. Victims of those injuries should ensure they understand their rights.

Premises liability claims are possible

Injuries resulting from a pothole in a parking lot can lead to complex legal situations because of the requirements present when a person seeks compensation for premises liability. The compensation helps to cover the victim’s financial damages, such as missed wages and medical care.

Negligence and liability matter

Several points go into a successful compensation claim. The injured party must prove negligence to hold a property owner or manager liable for injuries caused by a pothole. This involves demonstrating that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take appropriate action to repair it or warn visitors of the hazard.

Documenting the scene of the injury, such as taking photos of the injury, pothole and the surrounding area, may assist with validating the claim. Obtaining witness statements and a copy of any incident report filed on the property may also strengthen the case.

Comparative negligence impacts compensation

New York follows the comparative negligence rule, which can reduce the compensation an injured party receives based on their percentage of fault. This means that the defense may try to show that the injured person should have known about the pothole or had a way to prevent the injury. If they’re successful, a victim’s compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to that injured person. With that said, because these cases are so complex, seeking legal assistance is often beneficial for victims. Especially when much is at stake, it’s important to avoid a “DIY” approach to such matters.