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Miami Personal Injury Lawyer » Blog » Can You Sue if You Get Attacked in a Parking Garage?

Can You Sue if You Get Attacked in a Parking Garage?

Parking in a garage is often inevitable. Offices, shopping malls, and other everyday locations offer guests and patrons garage parking for ease and convenience. Garages are generally safe, especially during busy hours. But dangerous activity is much more likely in garages with little to no security.

If you’ve been attacked in a parking garage, you may have a valid legal claim. Do not hesitate to discuss your situation with an experienced premises liability attorney for legal options, support, and representation.

Parking Garage Attacks – Why They Happen and Resulting Injuries

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Parking garage structures offer several places for individuals to hide and wait for their prey. At any turn, an attacker can hide behind a car or wall, ready to attack you. While many may think this only happens in movies, it happens in real life more than it should.

Attacks in parking garages are typically the result of inadequate security measures. Parking garage owners should always keep visitor security in mind, especially during nighttime hours. When there is little to no security, it makes it easier for attackers to act.

Unfortunately, a parking garage attack can lead to serious, life-altering injuries.

Depending on the severity of your attack, you can suffer:

  • Deep scrapes, cuts, and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries

Additionally, attackers may use weapons during the incident. This can result in further injury, including stabbing and gunshot wounds.

Injuries from a parking garage attack can be particularly significant. You’ll likely require extensive medical treatment to recover as much as your body is able. Unfortunately, some injuries lead to added consequences, like chronic pain, nerve damage, and permanent scarring.

Furthermore, parking garage attacks can also have a strong impact on your mental and emotional health. It’s not uncommon for attack victims to suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a stressful event like this.

Simply put, getting attacked in a parking garage can take a toll on your life, both in the short and long term. Taking action after a parking garage attack can help you get the justice and monetary recovery you need and deserve.

Adequate Security in Parking Garages

Security is one of the most important things for parking garage owners to consider. It may not seem like much, but taking certain measures to help ensure the safety of garage visitors can make a huge impact.

Several things can assist with safety in parking garages, including:

  • Proper lighting: Good lighting is truly the bare minimum in parking garages. Attacks are more likely to happen in dark areas, and these structures can get very dark at night, making it easier for attackers to hide. Garage owners should also fix broken fixtures and regularly replace burnt-out bulbs. 
  • Monitored entrances and exits: Garage entrances and exits should be appropriately secured with guards to help ensure visitors feel safe and nobody is inside the structure that shouldn’t be. Doors should also have proper locking mechanisms.
  • Cameras: Security cameras can act as strong deterrents as attackers try to avoid areas with surveillance. Additionally, law enforcement can use the footage to capture criminals if something happens. 
  • Fences: Fencing, where appropriate, can help keep wrongdoers out of the premises, making it more difficult for them to get into the area. 
  • Warning signs: Signage should be posted throughout parking garages to warn visitors of potential dangers. For example, visitors should take valuables with them to avoid vehicle break-ins. 
  • Security call boxes: Special call boxes can help in an emergency. If visitors feel unsafe or need security assistance, they can look for marked call boxes to request security presence. 

Taking extra steps to make parking garages safe for visitors can truly assist in preventing unnecessary and unfortunate garage attacks. While garage owners owe visitors the duty of making their premises safe, they don’t always take their duties seriously, resulting in serious injury to victims.

Understanding Premises Liability

When you’re attacked in a parking garage and sustain injuries, your case will fall under personal injury law. Personal injury law, also referred to as tort law, is the area of law that covers cases involving injuries caused by a third party’s wrongdoing.

Premises liability is a subcategory of personal injury. This area of law governs when a property owner or occupier’s negligence results in physical harm. Aside from parking garage attack cases, other common premises liability cases involve slip and falls and dog bites.

Under premises liability, you can hold a parking garage owner liable for their negligence. Filing a claim under premises liability law can help you obtain the financial recovery you need for your injuries and related losses.

Proving Liability for Your Attack

One of the major keys of personal injury cases is proving liability for your injuries. You must establish fault to have the opportunity to pursue compensation for your losses.

First, you’ll need to determine what caused the incident. For example, if negligent security or inadequate lighting contributed to your attack, the garage owner can be liable for the event.

Once you’ve determined the garage owner should be responsible, you’ll need to satisfy the elements of negligence. A negligent party does not act in the same manner a similarly situated person would act.

The elements to satisfy include:

  • The parking garage owner owed you a duty: The garage owner owed you a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure visitor safety.
  • The parking garage owner breached their duty: If your attorney establishes a legal duty, you’ll then show how they failed to take necessary precautions, which constitutes a breach of their duty.
  • Negligent safety measures led to your attack: The parking garage owner’s actions or omissions eventually resulted in your attack, as there was a lack of proper safety.
  • You suffered damages as a result: Because of your attack, you suffered injuries and other losses.

Additionally, you’ll show that adequate security would have prevented your attack. The garage owner will likely push back, stating there was no way to prevent the incident. Still, a lawyer can show the primary reasons why the attack occurred and the owner could have prevented it with proper care.

Foreseeability of the Attack

Another critical element of parking garage attack cases is foreseeability. Considering the circumstances and whether the garage owner should have anticipated such an event, you must address how foreseeable your attack was.

Foreseeability rests upon certain details, including the overall safety of the neighborhood and whether a history of criminal activity exists in the area. In generally unsafe locations, garage owners should take more care and implement more safety measures. In safer areas, owners may not feel the need to worry as much about security.

If the garage owner claims they should not have reasonably foreseen an attack, recovering compensation may be more challenging. Therefore, your attorney must take additional steps to show the foreseeability of the incident to successfully hold the owner accountable.

Potential Compensation for Premises Liability Cases

The primary reason to take action after a parking garage attack is to recover damages. Damages compensate for the tangible and intangible losses you suffer due to your attack.

Damages are economic, representing monetary losses, and non-economic, representing non-monetary losses.

Economic damages include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Several factors influence the value of your case.

Your attorney will examine:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The total cost of your medical expenses
  • How your injuries have and will affect your life
  • Whether you’ll require medical care in the future
  • Whether your injuries have interfered with work, and if so, the total amount of your lost income
  • How your injuries have impacted your mental and emotional health
  • Any other monetary or non-monetary loss you suffered as a result of your attack

Your injury lawyer can determine the value of your claim and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Claim After Getting Attacked in a Parking Garage

For a premises liability case like a parking garage attack, you may begin by filing a claim through the garage owner’s insurance.

Submitting a claim through the insurance entails detailing your attack and including pertinent evidence, including medical records, bills, and photographs. The insurance company’s adjuster will investigate the incident and determine whether you approve or deny your claim.

Ideally, you’d receive approval with a fair settlement offer. However, dealing with insurance companies is usually anything but easy, and you may get a denial or an unfair settlement offer.

Based on the outcome of your claim, your injury attorney may have to take further action to continue pursuing monetary recovery on your behalf.

What if I Have to File a Lawsuit?

If the insurance company denies your claim or fails to attempt to settle fairly, your lawyer can threaten further legal action. Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows you to continue your pursuit of compensation with the court’s assistance.

Filing a lawsuit can add time to the process, but it is necessary to help ensure you get a fair chance of obtaining the recovery you’re entitled to. During the lawsuit process, both sides have the opportunity to collect evidence and documentation to build and strengthen their cases.

Before your case goes to trial, there is a chance of settling it. Most personal injury cases settle before they reach trial, as settling can benefit both parties. If your case settles in pre-trial, you won’t have to take your case to court.

Should the other side fail to settle your case, your attorney can try your case. A judge or jury will hear your case and make necessary determinations during trial.

Regardless of the direction your case takes, you can rely on your lawyer to provide quality representation every step of the way.

Pursuing Justice for a Wrongful Death 

In the most unfortunate circumstances, a parking garage attack can lead to the victim’s death. If your loved one has passed away after an incident in a parking garage, you may have legal options.

A wrongful death lawsuit is another type of personal injury claim that allows the surviving family members of a victim to recover compensation if their loved one died because of another’s wrongdoing. Wrongful death claims give you the chance to receive funeral and burial costs and other damages related to your untimely loss.

If you lost a loved one in a parking garage attack, do not wait to speak with a skilled attorney for proper guidance.

How Do I Know Whether I Have a Premises Liability Case After My Parking Garage Attack?

Determining whether you have a valid claim is the first step in the process. Only a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can review the details of your case and give you that answer.

Time is limited to take legal action and pursue compensation after suffering injuries. Depending on your state’s laws, you only have one to six years to file a claim. Therefore, consulting with an attorney as quickly as possible is important.

Getting attacked in a parking garage and sustaining serious injuries can change your physical health, life, and outlook. On top of that, you shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden. After your attack, immediately meet with a lawyer to get started on your case.

Christopher D. Alas, Attorney for Premises Liability Cases near Miami Lakes, FL
Christopher D. Alas, Premises Liability Lawyer in Miami Lakes, FL

Consult With a Premises Liability Attorney Immediately

Inadequate security cases can be challenging, but obtaining compensation is not impossible with the right legal representation.

An experienced premises liability attorney will know how to address the complex legal issues involved.

Never trust a criminal case to provide enough relief for victims. Instead, proactively stand up for your rights with a personal injury lawyer in Miami today.

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