Parking Lot Potholes Can Injure Pedestrians
Two lawsuits filed in Orlando recently remind us that pedestrians face many dangers on their way into a store, including potholes in the parking lot. Store owners must keep their premises safe for business customers, or at least warn customers of dangers, and this duty can extend all the way out to the parking lot. When store owners are negligent, injured victims can hold them responsible.
Potholes at Circle K
In the first case, two plaintiffs filed a complaint in Orange County, naming Circle K Stores Inc. as the defendant. According to plaintiffs, one of them visited the convenience store in Orlando on May 22, 2015 when he stepped into a pothole in the parking lot. As a result of the fall, he sustained injuries to his body and suffered disability, pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, and medical expenses. According to plaintiffs, Circle K failed to fix the pothole or to warn customers of it.
Shopping Plaza Hazards
Another lawsuit was filed in Orange County due to a trip and fall in a parking lot. One woman alleges that on February 19, 2018 she was visiting the shopping plaza at 7325 Lake Underhill in Orlando when she stepped into a pothole, injuring herself. The complaint, filed July 2, names Osceola Enterprise of Kissimmee Inc. as the defendant. The plaintiff alleges that defendant failed to determine whether the pothole was a hazard to customers and failed to warn her of the danger. She has sued for over $15,000 in damages and has requested a trial of all issues.
A Preventable Problem
There is really no reason for businesses not to investigate their parking lots and fix any holes that open up. Dumping some tar into a hole costs a lot less than having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, disability benefits, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, setting up some saw horses or tape to warn customers costs even less than a couple shovels of hot tar. Yet, as the two lawsuits above attest, potholes continue to be a problem in Florida.
Unfortunately, business owners are frequently negligent, meaning they do not intend to injure their customers but through carelessness or oversight fail to keep their property safe. If you have fallen because of a pothole, you might have a legal case for compensation. Remember to do the following:
- Take a picture of the pothole, if at all possible. By the time you make a request for compensation, the owner might have covered up the hole and put up warnings. Use your smartphone or ask a bystander to take a picture.
- Get immediately to the hospital. Prompt medical treatment can improve your chances of recovery and can also document your injuries.
- Take down the names of any witnesses who saw you fall. Also get their phone number or email address.
Finally, remember to discuss your case with an experienced Daytona Beach premises liability attorney at Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach. You can schedule your free, no obligation consultation by calling 386-252-5170 or submitting an online message.