Do you often use public parking? Perhaps your workplace has a nearby parking garage or lot spaces reserved for you and your co-workers. Maybe the housing development or apartment complex in which you live includes parking facilities. While available parking space is often a perk and welcome convenience, it can also be a source of great danger.
Sadly, violent crimes often take place in parking lots or garages. It’s also not uncommon for motor vehicle collisions to occur in such areas. If you’re going to walking through a parking garage or parking lot, especially after dusk, you’ll want to brush up on your self-defense skills. The safest parking areas in the nation often have numerous features in common. If you suffer injury in a parking facility or lot, it’s helpful to know where to seek immediate support.
Exits and entranceways are important
Nothing is worse than entering a parking lot then not being able to find your way out of it. Safe parking areas are user-friendly. Safe parking areas are easily accessible and navigable. You should feel like you can safely leave in a hurry, if a need arises.
Signage, marked curbs, sidewalks and more
It may frustrate you when you aren’t able to find an exit in a parking structure or lot, and it can pose a safety hazard as well. It is an important safety feature for parking garages to contain proper signage to direct you once you exit your vehicle and become a pedestrian. There should be walk areas that are a safe distance from traffic and arrows or other directions leading you to stairs, as well as elevators.
Lighting is of paramount importance
A parking garage or parking lot without proper lighting is not safe. It would be better to ask a store security guard to accompany you to your vehicle than to walk across a dark parking lot alone at night. There should also be adequate lighting in stairwells, elevators or other offset areas associated with your parking space.
There might be vending machines, phone-charging stations or other structures within your parking area. While such appliances may add convenience to your parking experience, they can also pose a safety hazard because people with bad intentions can hide behind them. You may also become distracted while using such devices, thus making yourself a target for crime.
If you suffer injury in a parking lot or parking garage
What if you fall down a stairwell in a parking garage because there was debris lying on the stairs that caused you to trip and fall? Who is responsible for making sure the area is kept clean and safe for visitors? What if someone steals your pocketbook or assaults you in a parking facility? First, you hopefully have a way to call 911.
Beyond that, such incidents are not only stressful, but they may result in emotional or physical trauma. Financial distress often arises in the wake of such incidents as well, either from medical expenses, loss of income by taking time off work or economic injury caused by loss of personal property if a theft occurred. Georgia law allows victims of crimes to seek compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim in civil court. If parking lot officials were negligent in some way, a victim may also file a premises liability claim.