Many garages and parking lots throughout North Carolina have automatic gates which help control the traffic that enters and exits the area. But there are many incidents of these gates malfunctioning, causing serious injuries to drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who may be coming into or leaving the area. Statistics show parking lot gate arms are responsible for at least 5 percent of all personal injury claims filed for parking lot injuries.
Although it may seem as if this type of accident would only result in a minor injury, there are multiple accidents in which the victim sustains a catastrophic injury. For example, in one case, the victim suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and was awarded $6 million in damages. Other victims have suffered injuries ranging from lacerations to the face, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
Who Is Liable?
Parking lot gate accidents are often caused by malfunctioning or defective equipment. However, they can also be a result of a negligent or untrained employee. Victims who are injured should seek out the advice of a North Carolina personal injury attorney who can help determine who the responsible party is for these types of accidents.
Under North Carolina premises liability laws, property owners owe anyone who has permission to be on the property – such as visitors or customers – a duty of care to make sure that the property is free of hazards which could injure visitors. If your attorney determines that the property owner failed to maintain a safe environment, then the claim for your injuries and responsibility for financial compensation would be filed against the owner.
If your attorney determines that the accident happened because of a defect in the gate, then your Carolinas attorney could file an injury claim against the gate manufacturers.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, there may actually be more than one at-fault party who is liable for financial damages. For instance, if the accident was caused because of a defect in the gate, but the owner had been informed of the defective and failed to have it repaired, then you N.C. injury attorney could decide to file a personal injury claim against both the manufacturer of the gate (because of the defect) and the owner (because he or she knew about the possible hazard but failed to act on it.)
If you have been injured by a parking lot gate, or any other type of accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, contact a North Carolina premises liability attorney to find out what legal options you may have for your pain and losses.