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Michigan Supreme Court Decides Influential Parking Lot Accident Case

The Michigan Supreme Court recently issued the decision to not hear a personal injury case that has the potential to create some unique considerations for retailers in the state. Instead of issuing an opinion, the Supreme Court will let an appeal court decision remain against Menards, a home improvement company that is headquartered in Wisconsin. The accident in question occurred in 2011 after a shopper leaving Menards Bay City store was struck by a pickup truck.

In 2013, the woman who was struck died from injuries received during this accident. The deceased woman’s family argues that Menards should have been required to place stop signs to slow down traffic in the parking lot. Legal counsel on behalf of Menard’s, however, has argued that because the risk of being hit in a parking lot is open and obvious, the store is not liable for the accident.

Prior to being heard by the Michigan Supreme Court, two courts declined to hear the lawsuit. The future of the case relies on a Bay County judge deciding to proceed to trial or approve a settlement. This Menards parking lot case introduces some unique issues to be considered by individuals about how motor vehicle accidents occur.

The Open and Obvious Standard

Companies who might be liable for a personal injury case can create a strong argument if an open and obvious defense can be raised. While companies have the duty to warn individuals about known dangers, this duty does not extend to situations that are considered to involve open and obvious dangers. A danger is considered to be open and obvious if a person with ordinary intelligence would have discovered the danger after a casual inspection.

Ways to Overcome the Open and Obvious Defense

There are two exceptions to the open and obvious defense applying to situations in which dangers are effectively unavoidable as well as when dangers present an unreasonably high risk of injury. An open and obvious condition is considered to be effectively unavoidable is a person is unable to pass the hazards without sustaining a serious injury. An example of an effectively unavoidable risk if a hazard that is located immediately outside the exit of a location and places everyone who passes the condition in danger of being harmed. A condition is found to constitute an unreasonably high risk of injury by a court when there is a significant likelihood that the condition will result in harm to a person if not avoided. A deep open chasm in the middle of a parking lot would likely constitute a risk with an unreasonably high chance of injury.

Parking Lot Accident Attorney

There are a number of ways in which property owners try to defend against injuries incurred as the result of an accident.

To ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve, it is a wise idea to retain the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact Jay Trucks and Associates today for a free consultation.

No Upfront Fees. Ph: (800) 762-8623.