If you slip and fall in a parking lot in Florida, chances are that it may not be your fault. But you will need to speak with the best Florida parking lot accident lawyer you can call to find out for sure. At Wolfson & Leon, our parking lot accident attorneys have defended the rights of injured victims since 1963 and they are ready to help you too. Call them right now at 305-285-1115 for your free consultation to find out if some person or corporation might be responsible for your parking lot accident in Florida.
Hazardous Parking Lot Issues
Chances are you use a parking lot at least once a day, but you may not have considered just how dangerous they can be. There are of course the obvious issues that you need to watch out for, such as potholes. But there are other, less obvious issues that you need to be aware of.
One of the least recognized hazards in parking lots can be the paint that is used for parking spaces, traffic lines and handicapped spaces. The paint can actually be extremely slippery when wet, and it can lead to serious injuries. Whether it is the painted lanes, the handicapped symbols, or the “No Parking” areas.
When you add up all the painted spaces, you can quickly see that it can be a big problem. What makes it worse is that the parking lot owners know that their customers walk on these painted areas daily.
What You Need to Know About the Dangers of Parking Lot Paint
Here is what you need to know about painted areas in parking lots. There are several kinds of paint for roads out there, and each has its own plusses and minuses. Some of the paints out there can stand up to the elements; many, however, can quickly become slippery when wet. Whether it is from rain or other liquids, many paints can lose their traction and become a serious hazard.
Generally, the paint manufacturers must put warnings on their labels to let their buyer know when and how their product may malfunction. You most likely have seen these labels on everyday products you buy. For the paint products, the labels generally warn the buyer that the paint may become slippery when wet, and that people should use caution.
Creating a non-slippery surface can be fairly difficult. Asphalt by its very nature is rough and highly texturized. That texture generally allows for paint to applied to the asphalt and provide for a safe bond between the surface of the asphalt and the molecules of the paint. That bond allows for a solid painted surface that gives shoes some traction, whether or not the surface is wet.
To make parking lots safer, they are often seal coated. During the process of sealing the parking lot, sand or other materials are mixed in with the coating material in order to make it slip-resistant and prevent skidding for both cars and pedestrians.
However, painting the parking lots can often undo the measures to make it slip-resistant. The paint can often act as a filler and fill in the textured pockets of the road. It essentially smooths over the road and stops it from being slip-resistant.
Then, when the paint gets wet, there is nothing to prevent the surface from being slippery. The water just sits on top of the paint and creates hydroplaning. A person’s show will slip on the water layer instead of the textured lot.
Unfortunately, painters can make things worse when it comes to painting the lots. Often, the painters will paint the lines using too many coats. Painters also often make the mistake of just painting over older portions. This over-painting also fills in the textured gaps of the asphalt, thus leading to hydroplaning.
Experienced painters will know how to overcome the problem of the paint filling in the gaps. Many times, simply mixing gritty materials, like sand, can be added to the paint in order to give the paint texture. This is a relatively simple and cheap step that can and should be done in order to prevent slip and falls.
The texturing materials are very cheap, as sand is easy to acquire. Despite this, the painters sometimes skip this step and risk pedestrians slipping and falling. The reason for this is that adding the non-skidding materials to spray paint machines can be difficult. Usually, in order to adding the non-skidding materials to the paint, a person would need to roll or brush the paint. Doing this, however, adds labor costs and time to the project. Unfortunately, it usually comes down to money, and the parking lot owners can skip this step to save some money.
What You Need to Know If You Slip and Fall in a Florida Parking Lot
If you slip and fall on slippery painted lines in a parking lot, here is what you need to know. Whether you slip and fall in an airport or a mall parking lot or in a store parking lot, it is important to know that all business owners in Florida owe a high level of duty of reasonable care to their customers. All owners must keep their parking lot reasonably safe.
Under premises liability theory, business owners have a high level of duty to their customers or invitees. The owners must regularly inspect their premises and keep it reasonably clear of dangers. This applies to all the store’s employees.
If an employee finds a dangerous problem, then the store must do everything reasonable to fix the problem. Until the store fixes the problem, they should at least put a sign up that clearly highlights and warns the customers of that danger.
For example, if a Loews’ employee finds a dangerous pothole in the middle of the road, the store should rope off the area until they have the pothole fixed.
If you slip and fall in a parking lot, you will need to figure out against whom you should file your personal injury claim. This can often be tricky, as who owns the parking lot can be hard to determine. While many stores stand alone and thus probably own the parking lot outright, others will can share a parking lot. Those that share a parking lot will often hire a management company to deal with the maintenance of the parking lot.
For example, if you slip and fall in a Publix parking lot that is stand alone, you can be reasonably sure that Publix owns the parking lot. However, if you slip and fall in a parking lot that has a Best Buy, Walmart, and Home Depot around it, the stores likely chip into a company that is responsible for keeping up the parking lot.
If you slip and fall in a parking lot shared by businesses, you should talk to an employee of one of the stores, preferably a manager. That manager will most likely know who is responsible for maintaining the parking lot when you make an incident report.
Florida Parking Lot Accident Law Firm
Wolfson & Leon has fought victims of negligence for more than 55 years. Their Florida personal injury lawyers are ready and willing to answer your questions. Depending on the facts of your parking lot accident, they will be able to tell you if you have a case. If you do have a viable case, their Florida parking lot accident lawyers can lay out a game plan to help you get the justice and the compensation that you deserve.
If you were injured in a parking lot anywhere in Florida, these attorneys can help. They have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers and are available to serve the communities of Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Fort Pierce, Naples, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Boca Raton and the Florida Keys. Call now at 305-285-1115 for the answers you deserve. They can help.