The O’Hara Law Firm represents a client that was injured in a Kroger parking lot. The woman tripped and fell into a pothole because the property owner did not properly maintain the parking lot. One of the leading causes of injuries in parking lots is uneven surfaces and holes that create tripping hazards. Kroger is one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States. It should have policies and procedures in place to routinely check the parking lot for unsafe conditions.
The O’Hara Law Firm has represented multiple clients that have been injured as a result of dangerous conditions in parking lots. These injuries include fractured bones, disc herniations, neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, and other injuries. Many of these clients needed emergency medical care and surgery.
Stores have a duty to maintain a safe environment for customers inside the store and in the parking lot. If the store has a dangerous condition, it should warn customers and remove the dangerous condition as soon as possible. Some stores allow parking lots to deteriorate and crumble. It is not uncommon for some stores to allow unsafe conditions to exist for months in parking lots without any effort to remedy the situation. Potholes rarely develop instantaneously. Instead, they develop over time as rain and heat cause the hole to grow larger and larger over time.
Common Store Tactics
Kroger and other stores often attempt to avoid responsibility for their dangerous store conditions by claiming it is the customer’s fault. They often claim the customer was not paying attention to where he or she was walking. They claim the customer should have seen the dangerous condition and avoided it. This common argument does not address how people actually walk and examine their surroundings. People do not stare at the ground directly in front of their feet as they walk. Instead, people look ahead in the direction where they are traveling.
If a person turns a corner, gets out of a car, or steps around an obstacle, he often will not look at the floor right by his feet. He is looking where is going, not where he is standing. As a result, customers may slip on uneven surfaces, slippery substances, pallets, and other objects too low for them to see at their feet. We have all tripped over a toy or other item that a child, dog, etc. dropped on the floor. Because we weren’t paying attention to where we were going, we didn’t fall. We fell over because we looked past the object and didn’t anticipate seeing something on the ground. Customers expect their paths to be clear of obstacles when they travel through stores and parking lots.
Another tactic by some dishonest store owners is to remove the evidence of any tripping hazard after the customer leaves. If the store owner later claims there was not a dangerous condition, you will have evidence to disprove the false claim. Several years ago, the O’Hara Law Firm represented a trip and fall victim who stepped into a hole and injured her back. The victim’s relative took pictures of the hole and surrounding area before they left. The store owner placed warning scenes at the location after they left and claimed they were there when the customer fell.
If you have been injured in a parking lot, contact the O’Hara Law Firm. We have experience representing customers who trip and fall as a result of dangerous conditions.