If you own a business and you provide a parking lot to your customers, it is important that you are aware of your responsibilities for maintaining that lot. You may be shocked to learn that it has been reported that the national annual cost of repairing vehicles damaged by potholes is $3 billion dollars. If your parking lot has any potholes, there is a significant risk of your customers damaging their tires, struts, shocks, and wheels. It that occurs, you may find that your customers expect you to pay the necessary repair costs. Therefore, it is crucial that you become aware of your responsibilities regarding potholes in the parking lot that you make available to your customers.
#1-Know Why You Could Be Billed For Damage To Vehicles
It is important to note that while your customers may have the option of filing a claim with their insurance company, doing so rarely makes good financial sense. The average cost of repairing vehicular damage after a run-in with a pothole is about $150 dollars and it is not unusual to have a deductible on their car insurance policies exceed that. Therefore, in lieu of paying the repair cost of repairs out-of-pocket , your customers could easily look to the person or business who is in charge of the lot where the damage occurred.
#2-Be Aware Of Slip-And-Fall Laws
Although damage to vehicles may be the first thing you think of when you hear about potholes, it is also a good idea to consider the pedestrian traffic that your parking lot gets. Even a small pothole can cause a big problem and a huge expense, as evidenced by a recent lawsuit filed against a community college in Oregon for $375,00 dollars. The woman who filed the case suffered from a bone disease and tripped in a small pothole near her handicapped parking spot.
You should also consider the impact that a pothole can have on healthy individuals as well. For example, people with strollers, the elderly and small children who may not be as observant of their surroundings as they could be could also be injured as the result of a pothole.
#2-Pay Attention To The Lot's Condition And Act Quickly
Although laws about potholes in parking lots and who is responsible for them vary from one state to the next, you should always see to the damage as soon as you can after you are aware of their existence. In some states, you have a certain amount of time from the time that you are informed of potholes to fix it and after then, you are responsible.
In addition, you should also consider that if a customer damages their vehicle in your lot, they might be reluctant to return to your parking lot and by extension, your business. Even a minor injury incurred by your customer could result in bad word-of-mouth and a loss of business.
In conclusion, pothole damage in your parking lot can result in significant and expensive repairs to your customers. As a result, you should repair any as soon as you become aware of their existence and to be aware of the information listed above.x