Often, your car is safer in a store parking lot than you are. If you are like many Georgia residents, you may not pay close attention to your surroundings as you enter or leave the store. You may be searching for your keys, talking on your phone or otherwise distracted.
People intent on doing you harm in some way take advantage of the fact that you may not be paying attention as you walk to your car. Doing so at night can make you even more vulnerable since someone may be hiding under the cover of darkness. Parking lots can be especially dangerous during the winter months since fewer daylight hours make it easier for would-be perpetrators to hide.
Keeping these steps in mind could keep you safe
To help keep you from becoming the victim of an assault, robbery or worse in a parking lot, consider taking the following steps:
- Remain aware of your surroundings
- Remain aware of and search for places perpetrators may hide
- Lock your vehicle before going into the store
- Take your keys out before you leave the store
- Don’t waste time getting into your car
- Lock the doors once in your car
- Park as close to the store as possible
- Try to stick with the crowd, if any
- Avoid distractions as much as possible
Also, be wary of talking to strangers. Any conversation could be a way to distract you. You may also consider carrying mace or pepper spray.
If your efforts still didn’t keep you safe
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you end up becoming the victim of a crime. If this happened to you in a parking lot, you may have legal options for pursuing compensation for the injuries you suffered and the financial losses you sustained as a result. You may file a personal injury claim against the perpetrator if you discover who that is, but you may also be able to seek compensation from the owner or manager of the store and/or parking lot.
Failing to take reasonable measures to ensure your safety could create legal liability. Perhaps the lot was poorly lit, there were no security cameras or other adequate security was not provided. A duty also exists to warn you of any potential foreseeable or known dangers. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding filing a civil suit, help is available.