Pratfalls have long been a mainstay of physical comedy on stage and screen – but a real slip-and-fall accident is no laughing matter. Slips and falls sent roughly 6.8 million people to the hospital in 2020 alone, and more than 211,000 were injured seriously enough to need time off work.
While many people associate slips and falls with stairs and ladders, parking lots can be the real danger zone – especially in winter. Early nightfall combined with a busy shopping season and sometimes inclement weather can make parking lots uniquely hazardous this time of year.
What are some of the most common slip-and-fall injuries?
If you’re lucky, the worst you’ll end up with after a slip and fall in a parking lot is some scraped knees and wounded pride. If you’re not so lucky, you can end up with:
- Fractures: Broken wrists from flinging out your hands to break your fall are very possible, as are broken legs and hips. Ankles, too, are particularly vulnerable to breaks when someone’s foot twists in a pothole.
- Head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are especially dangerous, and they can happen very easily, particularly when there’s inadequate lighting in a parking lot that can cause you to miss your step.
- Facial injuries: If you’re leaving a store with an armful of packages and you trip on a piece of broken asphalt, you could have no capacity to break your fall. That can lead to serious facial and dental injuries that could impact your life for years to come.
The owners and managers of parking lots know that they have a certain responsibility to keep their lots reasonably safe for the people who have legitimate reasons to be there. If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident due to inadequate lighting or failures to keep the lot in good condition, you may have a valid premises liability claim.