Serious Injuries and Fatalities Raise Questions about Store Parking Facilities
A successful supermarket or other retailer has an understanding of the importance of providing patrons with an accessible parking lot. A retailer naturally wants its customers to be able to get into and out of its store with relative ease.
On the other hand, a retailer typically has something of a mindset that a parking lot presents something of a dead space, at least to some degree. As a consequence, a store owner is apt to attempt to provide as many parking spaces as it can in the smallest amount of space possible. In taking this cost-saving approach, a merchant very well may end up creating an unreasonably safe environment for customers in its parking lot. In addition, a store may also cut back on such parking lot safety features like adequate lighting and designated walkways for pedestrians as a means of saving money.
While a fair statement can be made that a multiple-vehicle injury accident in a supermarket parking lot is not a commonplace occurrence, this type of incident is occurring with increasing frequency in this day and age. Over the weekend, one such multiple car crash that resulted in several injuries occurred in a Wegmans Food Market parking lot in Pennsylvania.
As mentioned, the pileup injured several people, including two who were transported by emergency medical personnel to an area hospital. One person was trapped in a car and needed to be extracted using the “jaws of life.” The facts surrounding this noontime accident underscore that parking lot collisions most definitely are not all fender-benders.
The multicar parking lot wreck was precipitated by an elderly man who got behind the wheel of his car, turned it on, and then passed out with his foot on the gas pedal. His vehicle shot forward, hitting two parked cars. This resulted in what is described by witnesses as a “chain reaction.” Five other vehicles and a light pole ultimately were involved in the motoring melee.
The investigation into the Wegmans multicar accident is ongoing. At this time, it is not known whether the parking lot design or something under the control of the grocery store contributed to the accident and associated injuries. Such a determination may be made during the course of the investigation by local authorities. On the other hand, those facts may need to be elucidated by a skilled, experienced car accident lawyer, like a member of the legal team at the nationwide Doan Law Firm.
Another type of accident is occurring with alarming frequency in merchant parking lots, including at grocery markets and shopping centers of all types. This includes open-air parking lots and parking facilities. These accidents that result in serious and even fatal injuries involve pedestrians.
Merchants or store owners are failing to design parking lots that include clearly designated pedestrian walkways. What is arguably a dangerous parking lot design defect forces pedestrians to meander through rows of parked cars in an attempt to get from a parking lot or parking structure to a store or mall entrance in what fairly can be described as an unreasonably unsafe environment.
Every year across the United States people of all ages, including children, are seriously and even fatally injured when making their way to or from parked vehicles to stores, restaurants, and other public or commercial establishments. A considerable percentage of these injuries and deaths could be avoided if merchants provided suitably safer parking lots and structures in the first instance.
In addition to injury accidents involving vehicles, a shocking number of people become the victims of crime in parking lots or structures. These include people who are the victims of violent crimes that occur in part because a parking lot or structure lacks reasonable safety and security elements, including appropriate lighting.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident or criminal incident, a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer from The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 is available to explain your rights and evaluate your case. Our personal injury lawyer hotline is staffed around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’re a nationwide law firm that doesn’t charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation. Moreover, we never charge an attorney fee unless we win for you.