Representing Injury Victims of Violent Crimes & Wrongful Death Due to Parking Lot Negligence
Table of Contents
- What is Parking Lot And Garage Negligence in Georgia?
- Proving Liability and Causation in Parking Lot Negligent Security Cases in Georgia
- Compensation and Damages Recoverable in a Parking Lot & Garage Negligence Claim
- Types of Injuries Suffered in Parking Lot Negligence Cases
- Further Reading on Parking Lot & Garage Negligence
Most people don’t give much thought to parking when they’re going to work, shopping, or running errands. But parking lots and parking garages have many of the same risks involved as driving, including car crashes, vehicular damage, and even the security risk of being attacked.
Every year, injuries occur in parking lots, ramps, and garages throughout the Atlanta area. Criminal attacks, car crashes, and other violent crimes can leave victims with serious injuries in their wake, along with mounting bills and expenses. EHS reports that 500 deaths a year occur to drivers and pedestrians in parking lots and parking garages, and this figure does not include injuries and accidents that are suffered in non-vehicle-related manners.
What Is Parking Lot Negligent Security in Georgia?
Parking lot owners in Georgia are required to keep their parking facilities in good condition and provide adequate security for everyone who parks there. Under Georgia’s OCGA §51-3-1, property owners of all types of property – including parking garages – owe a duty of care to everyone they invite. This includes adequate security to reasonably protect their customers from criminal attacks.
Negligence in a parking lot or garage is a claim that falls under premises liability. If you are injured in a parking lot by a third party, your claim against the owner would be governed by those laws. The third party receives criminal charges, and will go through a separate criminal trial.
Dangers of Parking Lots
One of the most common parking lot dangers – and the one that surely comes to mind – is the risk of a car or pedestrian accident. While most parking lot accidents occur at low speeds, they still have the potential to be fatal – especially if larger vehicles like shuttles are involved.
But parking lots are also where we see many:
- Slips, trips, and falls.
- Physical fights (sports team rivals, gang members, nightclub patrons, domestic violence incidents, arguments over parking spots, etc.).
- Sexual assaults.
When a building owner fails in that duty to protect visitors, it can lead to serious injuries for an innocent victim. The parking lot owner can help prevent many of these incidents by making their property safer. The owner or occupier who neglected to provide adequate security in their parking lot or garage can be held liable for the victim’s injuries with a claim of negligence.
Proving Liability and Causation in Parking Lot Negligent Security Cases in Georgia
All property owners in Georgia are required to keep their premises safe for everyone who might be on the property, whether an employee, visitor, or vendor. Premises liability is the area of Georgia law that governs the safety and ownership of private property. When someone is injured on private or public property and files a lawsuit, the suit is governed by Georgia’s premises liability laws.
If a parking lot incident does occur, ranging from an act of sexual assault to a crash that causes injuries, it can be difficult to understand who is liable. It is important to note that the parking lot owner/manager may be held liable if their negligence contributed to the incident. The owner/manager of the parking lot may be found negligent when a dangerous condition existed on the parking lot or the potential for there to be an accident/criminal activity was understood; the parking lot owner/manager did not take action to correct the dangerous condition/prevent criminal activity; and the victim’s injuries could have been prevented but for the actions of the parking lot owner/manager.
For example, if a person is robbed or assaulted in a parking lot, the parking lot owner/manager could be held partially liable if the victim can prove that:
- The parking lot was dangerous (i.e. by virtue of being poorly lit, being located in a dangerous neighborhood, because incidents had occurred in the parking lot before, etc.).
- The parking lot owner/manager understood these dangers or should have understood them.
- The parking lot owner did not take action to remedy the situation, such as by installing lighting or hiring a security guard.
- The victim’s injuries would not have occurred had the parking lot owner/manager taken action.
Compensation and Damages Recoverable in Georgia Parking Lot Negligent Security Cases
Georgia has no limits on the damages you can recover for negligent security. Therefore, a plaintiff is free to request damages for the complete extent of their losses. This includes compensatory damages such as:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Lost future wages.
- Property damage.
Other damages include:
- Pain & suffering.
- Emotional trauma.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Working with an experienced attorney can help you recover financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses due to parking lot and garage negligence.