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Thread: Parking Lot Safety Standards

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Sep 2012
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    North Carolina
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    Parking Lot Safety Standards

    What standards are out there for parking lot design including safe lighting levels and trip hazards? I ask because:

    A citizen had an accident at a town owned parking lot. A pedestrian was outside of the asphalt in the grass at dusk and when they walked back to the parking lot they tripped over the edge of the asphalt and injured themselves. There is no curb or painted edge along the asphalt lot, there is some lighting but the parking lot is old and so is the lighting. There were no large cracks or deformations present. We have heard that the town will be sued.

    I'd like some help understanding where the blame will be placed in this lawsuit. Will it be the lighting, or the lack of painted edge around the asphalt? I know the people on this forum won't know what the lawyer is thinking but do you all have any ideas? Will they test the lighting levels and compare them to some minimum standard? If so, what is that standard? Does there need to be a painted edge around the asphalt?

    Thank you for the help,
    A

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow
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    Feb 2011
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    You would be better off doing research on the City Codes. There are usually some universal standard ones that most if not all Cities will use, but they may also make changes or additions to better suit their environment.

    Best idea is to go to the local City Office and speak to someone there, probably in Zoning of Building Inspection. Ask to see the relevant Codes. They are Public Records so they cannot refuse you.

    It is totally irrelevant what anyone online, me included, tells you as *only* the Code defined by that specific and individual City means anything to this case.

    Were you or a family member that "a citizen?"

  3. #3
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    I'll never understand how a person can feel justified in sueing anyone because they fell down. We learn to walk at a very early age and in the learning process we fall many times. Then later in life we still manage to screw up and fall now and then. Shouldn't we all own the responsibility of the simplest form of getting from one place to another? It's a self preservation thing. I don't want to fall and get hurt so I will walk with some degree of care.

    Stumbling around in the dark can be dangerous. Walking on ice can be dangerous. If you can't take responsibility for your own motions that propel you then you shouldn't propel yourself in adverse conditions. We all are at risk as soon as we crawl out of bed. It's just the nature of being.

    As much as we all don't want to see anyone get hurt... and falling can really bust a person up... unless somebody intentionally tripped somebody then it's their own fault they fell...?

    If a person decides to try to sue anybody and they lose the case... They should have to pay the legal fees for the person they tried to sue along with fees for their time spent dealing with the situation. That'd stop a lot of the folks that are looking for a free ride. They see deep pockets and figure they'll see if they can settle for some easy money.

  4. #4
    Technical Fellow
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    Plus 1 RW.

    I totally agree and that is why my response was suitably vague. The sooner American litigation adopts the loser-pay policy, (as most of the rest of the World does) the sooner these easy money scamming cases will cease.

    Interesting to note that Google was paid a million dollars to cover legal costs in the recent Oracle Patent squabble. Maybe the thin edge of a very good wedge.

  5. #5
    Associate Engineer
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    This stuff bothers me to no end. We are filling out some insurance updates for the company, and its amazing to try to understand what each liability we are responsible for when we check off each type of project.

  6. #6
    Technical Fellow
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    ...and that's why Insurance company Corporate offices are buildings like the casinos in Vegas. Also why Insurance company execs get multi-million dollar annual bonuses.

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