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What You Need to Know About Your Trip and Fall Accident Due to a Pothole in a Parking Lot

Published: 6-26-12

Trip and fall accidents are very common, and unfortunately, you may sustain serious injuries that affect your daily life and activities.  You may have fractured your shoulder, ankle or even hip, which would not allow you to work or do regular house chores.

When you have a trip and fall accident in Pennsylvania or in New Jersey, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries and pain and suffering from a responsible party, such as:

  • a restaurant;
  • a supermarket; and/or
  • the company responsible for maintaining the parking lot.

Public establishments that hold themselves open to the public for business purposes, such as restaurants or supermarkets, have a duty to protect their patrons from unreasonably dangerous conditions, such as a pothole in the parking lot.

In order to uphold this duty, which comes from Restatement (Second) of Torts, the establishment or business must perform the following:

  • it must inspect the premises or establishment for dangerous conditions on the property;
  • it must warn the public of a dangerous condition; and
  • if a dangerous condition is found, it must fix the dangerous condition.

Applying the above law to the situation where an individual falls in a supermarket or restaurant parking lot because of a pothole, the establishment must exercise reasonable care and inspect its property including the parking lot for dangerous conditions, such as potholes, which could cause harm to its patrons.

Second, if the restaurant or supermarket inspects the premises and finds a dangerous condition, such as a pothole, it must warn the public of the dangerous condition.  In this case, cones or warning tape should be used to warn the public of the pothole.

Third, the establishment must fix the dangerous condition so that patrons or customers are not exposed to the dangerous condition.

Getting injured in a trip and fall accident can turn your life upside down.  You may not be able to work, and you will likely have medical bills that need to get paid.  Talk to an experienced Pennsylvania trip and fall accident lawyer or a New Jersey trip and fall lawyer who can address your concerns and questions.

You shouldn't have to suffer and incur medical bills because of the negligence of a restaurant or supermarket or other public establishment. 


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