If someone told you they were hurt in a store parking lot, you might immediately assume a fall caused their injuries. While that would be a good guess, slip and falls are just one of a growing number of reasons for parking lot injuries.
Unfortunately, we continue seeing reports of violence and negligent security being the cause of many parking lot injuries. Whether it is a fist fight over a parking space, a planned attack, or an act of robbery, parking lots throughout Indiana can pose a variety of risks to Hoosiers.
In fact, Boulton Law Group has first-hand experience in this area of Indiana law.
Attorney Boulton has represented and consulted with a number of Indiana residents who were injured in high-profile parking lot incidents, and a lack of security measures were found to be a contributing cause in some of his clients’ cases.
When we learn of an accident or injury in a parking lot, a big question usually follows: “Could the store or owner of the parking lot have done anything to help prevent the injury from happening?”
When is Negligent Security in Parking Lots an Issue?
There are a number of scenarios in which negligent security could possibly contribute to a person’s parking lot injury.
The key to understanding whether or not the store can be held liable for inadequate security will depend on the answers to several questions, such as:
- Was the attack or injury foreseeable? (Did the parking lot owner have knowledge of similar incidents in the past? Should they have known about the dangers that existed?)
- Did the victim have a legal right to be in the parking lot where the attack or injury took place?
- Did the victim’s actions contribute to their injuries?
Depending on the answers to questions like these, it is possible that a person may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm that they have suffered, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Below are two examples of store parking lot injuries in which negligent security might be to blame:
A woman is shopping at a big-box store when she notices a man following her and acting suspicious. She eventually loses sight of the person but decides to report his behavior to store security.
Security makes a report of the incident but fails to perform a safety check and does not offer the woman an escort to her vehicle. After completing her shopping, the woman walks outside to her vehicle where she is attacked by the man she had previously reported.
In this incident, the store had been placed on notice of a potentially dangerous situation. Their failure to follow-up on the potential danger as well as not offering the woman an escort through the parking lot could leave them liable for damages.
Our second example actually begins in the store parking lot:
Two drivers claim to have been first in line for an unoccupied parking space. A verbal confrontation ensues that leads to a physical fight, seriously injuring one of the drivers.
The injured man requires an ambulance and store personnel are notified of the incident so that they can make a report.
Unlike the first scenario, this incident was much more spontaneous. The store did not have prior knowledge of a potentially dangerous situation and both combatants willingly engaged in the fight.
In this incident, it is unlikely that the store bares any responsibility for negligent security.
And while it may seem that the two scenarios have clear-cut differences in terms of liability, the facts surrounding the specific incident do not always tell the whole story.
For example, while investigating one particular parking lot injury in which an innocent bystander was seriously injured by gunfire, our office requested information from local authorities to document the number of police-runs and criminal reports at this particular store. The high number of documented incidents and loitering was shocking.
However, despite the significant total number of parking lot incidents and injuries reported at this location, the store had never implemented any security measures.
In this instance, our position was that the store had knowledge of a foreseeable problem but failed to take action to help ensure the safety of its guests.
Parking Lot Attacks & Injuries
The types of injuries associated with parking lot attacks can be either physical and/or psychological. In most instances, the injuries will require immediate medical care and ongoing treatment.
Boulton Law Group has witnessed a wide array of injuries and conditions due to negligent security of a parking lot, including:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Sexual assault
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Injuries inflicted by weapons
Again, no matter the type of injury you may have sustained, it is important that you seek appropriate medical treatment.
Types of Parking Lots Susceptible to Negligent Security
While a large number of serious injuries occur in the lots of major retailers, Boulton Law Group has investigated reported incidents that have occurred in a variety of parking lots, including:
- Big-box stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Costco, Home Depot, etc.)
- Parking garages
- Amusement parks
- Sports arenas
- Concert venues
Each parking lot will have unique features that have the potential to make them more susceptible to danger than others, so it is important that you remain mindful of your safety upon entering or exiting the premises.
Parking Lot Negligent Security Cases are Complex
Indiana’s laws can make negligent security parking lot cases extremely difficult to pursue. Put simply, there are no easy wins.
The majority of parking lot injury cases will require professional investigations, collection of physical and electronic evidence, and witness statements, among several other important steps.
Additionally, it may be required to prove that the store or parking lot owner failed to implement one or more security measures that led to your injury, such as:
- Surveillance cameras
- Appropriate lighting
- Security guards
- Installation of locks, gates, and/or key card access
Being able to successfully make a negligent security argument will require extensive work on behalf of your attorney.
With this in mind, we highly recommend you contact an experienced Indianapolis negligent security attorney to analyze your incident.
Contact an Indianapolis Negligence Security Attorney
If you were attacked or injured in a parking lot, a free legal consultation will help you to better understand your rights and next steps.
Additionally, if the attorney believes you might have a parking lot injury or negligent security case, they can work to secure and preserve valuable evidence that will be required to help prove your claim.
Attorney Matt Boulton has over 20 years’ experience in helping injured Hoosiers and their families with a wide variety of personal injury cases, including those affected by negligent security.
Boulton Law Group offers its callers and clients a Zero Fee Guarantee. This risk-free promise helps to ensure everyone has equal access to award-winning legal representation. It is just one example of the type of service we offer clients to ensure they Get Treated Like Family.
To speak with attorney Boulton about your potential parking lot injury case, call 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to write to us with your story, you can use our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews all contacts that we receive through our website.
We look forward to hearing your story and going to work for you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.