During the winter and early spring, nasty weather is a reality nearly every day. Unfortunately, winter weather does not always mean a commuter can simply stay at home. Whether going to work, driving to class or completing household errands, it is not uncommon for drivers to brave the elements to get to a destination.
Even though the roads can be slick with ice and snow, people often find the same type of danger in parking structures across New Jersey. While a parking lot is totally exposed to the weather, multi-level parking garages maintain some degree of protection. Unfortunately, for many, this is simply a false hope. Individuals can suffer serious injuries after slipping, tripping and falling in a parking garage for numerous reasons, including:
- Negligent maintenance: Managers and property owners must be vigilant in keeping the structure clean and ready for use. They have a duty to protect visitors from factors such as slippery steps, oily surfaces, broken safety barriers, broken lighting fixtures and cracked curbs.
- Structures and objects: During the winter months, the maintenance, janitorial and supervisory team must ensure the property is safe. From slippery, icy spots that form due to the open sides of the structure to poor landscaping that makes it challenging to walk, numerous hazards await many parking garage visitors.
- Construction defects: From cracked pavement and exposed rebar to uneven stairs and broken railings, faulty construction can lead to severe injuries in any type of parking structure. Many of these problems are sped up through the changing seasons and intensified during the frigid winters.
While the notion of a slip-and-fall accident might seem like a minor situation for many, these can represent serious injuries. A fall can lead to broken bones, muscle strain, torn ligaments, head trauma or spinal cord damage. Individuals who fall across a concrete turtle, for example, or down a flight of concrete steps can suffer dramatic injuries requiring surgery, hospital stays or lengthy physical therapy.