Property owners have the duty to keep a premises as safe as possible from avoidable injuries, such as slips and falls resulting from floor defects. This responsibility not only applies to the inside of a store, an apartment or a restaurant, but also to the parking lot maintained by the property owner.
As the National Safety Council points out, incidents of injury in parking lots are unfortunately common. They not only involve collisions between automobiles, but also injuries to pedestrians who try to cross through the lot. The NSC describes four different hazards parking lots can present to people.
Poorly maintained lots
You expect to walk across an even surface when you disembark your automobile to go into a store. Inevitably, a parking lot pavement may produce cracks and other defects. If a property owner lets a parking lot fall into disrepair, multiple cracks and potholes can result and present hazards to pedestrians, particularly to older people who may slip and fall.
Many people navigate parking lots during the day, but it is also common for people to go shopping or eat out during the night. For this reason, parking lots should have light posts providing illumination. A lot that has poor or no light can cause people to wander right into automobiles or fall because of unseen hazards.
Pedestrians also run the risk of injury from drivers passing through the lot or pulling in or out of a spot. Some motorists act reckless by cutting across the lot. A property owner may have some culpability by not striping the pavement to mark lanes or failing to erect signage to guide drivers through the lot.
Bad weather conditions
Pedestrians also run greater injury risks during inclement weather. Rain can make it difficult to see and increase the chances of slipping and falling. Drivers may not see you when you walk through a lot, particularly if they do not act responsibly and turn on their headlights. Winter weather also produces ice and snow that can increase slip risks.