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Spring thaws can lead to parking lot slip and falls

A lot of people are cautious during bad weather and are on the watch for parking lot dangers like ice and snow. However, when the weather starts to warm up, people can start to get less cautious—and they don't realize just how dangerous some parking lots have become over the winter months.

The winter weather is hard on parking lots. Small cracks get filled up with ice and snow and expand, creating bigger cracks or evolving into potholes. Snow removal services can also end up doing some damage if the plow operator is inexperienced. Just dropping the plow too hard can create a crater that gets wider as the winter goes on.

Add a little warm weather and the first chance to put away boots and pull out sneakers or sandals, and anyone crossing a parking lot that's been left to deteriorate over the winter can be in for a nasty fall.

Under premise liability laws, a business has a responsibility to keep its parking lot safe from obvious or easily detectable dangers—even if they didn't realize the condition was there.

For example, if the owner of a store always uses the employee's lot to enter and is unaware that potholes have developed in the customer's parking lot, it's still his or her responsibility if a customer gets injured by twisting an ankle on a broken piece of asphalt and falling. The employer could have—and should have—been aware of the problems and done something to correct them.

Similarly, poor lighting at night can affect how safe a parking lot is for traversing. If you can't see the ground, you can't begin to try to walk around broken chunks of asphalt or holes in the surface.

If you've been seriously injured due to a fall in the parking lot of a business, you may be entitled to recover damages for your lost wages, medical expenses and physical therapy, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. For more information on how we approach premise liability claims, please visit our page.

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