Determining Liability in Parking Lots

March 28, 2024
Premises Liability

Determining liability in parking lots can be a tricky scenario. Parking lots are privately owned which means that visitors to the parking lot are under the jurisdiction of the private property owner. This means that if you were injured while in a parking lot or parking structure, you may be able to pursue financial reimbursement for your injuries from the business owner. 

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a parking lot owner, you may be able to make claims for injuries and receive financial compensation. Contact our skilled attorneys today for a free, initial consultation.

Our legal team will analyze your case and create a defense strategy for you to make sure that you receive the financial compensation that you deserve for your auto accident injuries. Call our experienced premise liability lawyer Aaron Marks today!

Determining Liability for Parking Lots

Establishing fault for a parking lot accident can sometimes be tricky because the rules that govern private property are not as widely known as those used to determine fault on public property. However, finding fault for public and private property accidents is quite similar. Traffic laws for deciding fault on private property, including parking lots, are as follows:

  • When leaving a parking spot, drivers are required to yield to all other traffic in all directions. If they fail to yield and cause an accident, they are considered at fault.
  • If a person in a vehicle opens their car door and hits another vehicle, the person who opened the door is responsible for the damages that occur as a result.
  • In the event of a driver colliding with a legally parked vehicle, the fault generally rests with the driver. However, if the stationary car was illegally parked at the time of the impact, its driver may be held responsible for any resulting damage.
  • If the driver hits a pedestrian walking in a parking space or the center of the lot, the driver is at fault. 


Individuals involved in parking lot accidents need to exchange information and file an accident report. It's also recommended that you consult a legal professional if any disagreement arises about who is at fault or what compensation should be earned due to negligent actions taken by one of the parties involved.

There are often circumstances in which the drivers cannot be solely blamed for the accidents. There are many cases in which private property owners, or commercial property owners, are the people at fault for the accidents. If the bodily injuries occurred as a result of property negligence or lack of care on the part of the owner, the responsibility falls on the careless property owner.

Liability of Property Owners and Commercial Property Owners

Property owners can be held liable for accidents that happen on their premises. This is especially true if the parking lot or garage was negligently designed or poorly maintained. When this lack of care contributes to an accident, then the property owner may be held responsible for a victim’s accident injuries. For example, a large blind spot caused by improper construction in a parking structure or narrow lanes created in a parking lot might be enough to support liability for any resulting harm.

Duty of Care Owed to Visitors

Because parking lots are private property owned by either a company or an individual, owners of parking lots must provide reasonable care to the visitors in the parking lot. This is called "duty of care" and requires that the private property owners of the parking lot must ensure that their premises are safe for guests and customers, as well as those who are simply visiting the area.

Potential Negligence in Maintaining Safe Conditions

Property managers must keep their parking lot safe at all times. The potential for negligence in maintaining safe conditions in parking lots is an important issue that property owners must consider when managing these areas.


Negligence can result from a variety of factors, including failure to properly maintain and upkeep the premises, lack of adequate security or lighting, or lack of proper warning signs or safety features. Negligent parking lot owners can be responsible for serious injuries to motorists, pedestrians, and other visitors to the property if an accident occurs.

Potential Hazards In a Parking Lot Property

A parking lot can pose many potential hazards, and parking lot owners must keep the property safe for visitors. Some potential hazards in a parking lot property include poor lighting, unsafe and dangerous structures, and inadequate maintenance. If the owner is at fault for not keeping the parking lot safe, then he or she will be responsible and liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on their premises.

Poor Lighting

Poor lighting in parking lots can be a major hazard for drivers and pedestrians alike. For one, it can lead to decreased visibility which makes it difficult for visitors to navigate the area safely. As a result, this puts visitors at risk of potential harm due to an increased likelihood of an accident. 

Unsafe Conditions and Dangerous Structures

When it comes to parking lots, the issue of liability for unsafe conditions and dangerous structures is a complex one. One potential hazard in a parking lot is an unstable structure or badly designed structure that may collapse. If there are multiple levels in the parking lot, the columns may become unstable and unable to support the weight of the cars. Another issue to consider is the condition of the pavement, including its smoothness and the presence of breaks or cracks.


The owner of the parking lot has a legal duty to visitors must maintain a safe environment for visitors, so if serious injury or death is caused in a parking lot, one of the issues for analysis is whether a dangerous condition or the structure was contributing to the event.

Inadequate Maintenance or Repairs

When it comes to inadequate maintenance or repairs in a parking lot, the owner of the lot may be liable for any resulting accidents or injuries that occur if they do not keep up on maintenance and repairs of the structure. Parking lots should be maintained to a reasonable standard and kept free from hazards such as potholes, cracks, and uneven pavement that could potentially cause an accident. Furthermore, it is expected that necessary repairs are promptly addressed and that visitors are provided with guidance on alternative routes during ongoing maintenance work.

Determining Liability in Parking Lots, Accidents and Personal Injuries

Parking lot accidents are quite common and different types of injuries occur in parking lots. The risk of injury is high in parking lots as they are often small spaces and it can be hard for drivers to see whether or not cars or pedestrians are coming. Because parking lots are not considered public entities or a part of the public road system, you can make a claim for financial damages that the negligent liable party (property owner) owes you.

Slip and Fall Accidents in Parking Lots

Slipping or tripping in a parking lot could be caused by many factors including improper maintenance, cracked or uneven pavement, hidden objects, wet surfaces, inadequate lighting, and debris. For example, someone who slips and falls on an ice patch in a parking lot may suffer from scrapes, bruises, broken bones, or even spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.

When it is determined that hazardous conditions in the lot were caused by the negligence of the owner, he or she will likely be liable for any injuries that occur due to hazardous conditions in the lot. Our experienced slip-and-fall attorneys are here to help! Call now

Other Injuries that Can Occur in a Parking Lot

Besides slip and fall injuries, other injuries could be caused by a collision between two vehicles or an accident between one vehicle and a pedestrian. The risk of a vehicle collision increases if the parking lot is not properly maintained, such as when there are uneven surfaces or improperly marked lanes. In these cases, an auto accident injury lawyer can help you understand if the owner is at fault and could reimburse you for your final loss for your injuries.


Parking lots present unique security issues as they are often located in public places with little to no supervision or surveillance. Poor lighting and inadequate security cameras or security guards can create an unsafe environment that puts people at risk for theft or assault. Owners of parking lots must maintain a safe environment at all times for visitors. If you were assaulted in a parking lot and there is substantial evidence that this was the fault of the property owner, you could receive compensation for your loss from the negligent parking lot owner.

Safety Tips: Learn How to Stay Safe in Parking Lots

Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Now!

Parking lot accidents can be a stressful and traumatic experience, so it is important to ensure that you have the proper representation in order to get the justice you deserve. If you have experienced a serious injury due to such an incident, it may be necessary to consult an experienced attorney to receive financial compensation for your losses.

The legal team at Marks Law Group is well-versed in parking garage accidents and can help you navigate through this difficult situation with their expert representation. They understand how complex this type of accident can be and are eager to provide you with the personalized attention needed to win your case. Contact Marks Law Group today for a free legal consultation and discuss your parking garage accident case with an experienced accident lawyer.