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Why do pedestrians and motorists get hurt in parking lots?

You’ve just made a purchase at the store and walk outside and enter the designated crosswalk. Just as you step off the curb, you’re struck by a motorist. Your head strikes their bumper and you suffer a blunt force injury to the head. The lines for the crosswalk were so faint that the driver claims he never noticed it.

Or maybe you stumbled into a pothole in the parking lot while walking to your car. These are two instances that may result in a property owner being sued.

However, the biggest problem with parking lots apparently isn’t a property owner’s poor maintenance. Instead, it’s distracted drivers.

According to a study published by the National Safety Council (NSC) in 2016, incidents resulting in pedestrian or motorist injuries often involve cellphone usage. If we take into account that the NSC reports an annual 500 deaths and 60,000 pedestrian injuries in parking garages or lots, this could mean that a lot of people are either texting or talking while driving.

Another study performed that same year reflected that at least 66 percent of Americans felt that it was okay to talk on the phone while driving through a parking lot. At least one half of those suggested that texting, watching videos, using social media, snapping pictures or sending email is also acceptable. At least 42 percent also said that having a conversation via video chat would be all right in those circumstances.

Both pedestrians and motorists tend to have false senses of security when in parking lots. They often feel safe because there’s little to no traffic and the posted speed limit is low. They figure that little hazards await them. But they could be very wrong.

Customers walking out of stores are often distracted and may not be tuned in to what’s going on around them. As a result, they could suffer catastrophic injuries or death. While it’s the responsibility of the pedestrian to be aware of what they’re doing, they’re not responsible for inadequate lighting, potholes or other conditions of improperly maintained parking lots.

Determining whether you have a viable personal injury claim can be complex. A Tampa premises liability attorney can review the details surrounding your incident and advise you how to proceed.