Parking Lot Falls Caused by Wheelstops

Wheelstops are a common cause of serious parking lot falls. A wheelstop is a type of barrier designed to stop a car or truck from parking too far ahead. You've seen wheelstops thousands of times, here is a picture of a common installation:

Parking Lots and Wheelstops

Wheelstops can be made of several different materials including plastic, wood, concrete, or rubber. A typical installation has them anchored into the ground using a pair of metal stakes. Often times wheelstops are installed and then forgotten about by the owner or management for years or even decades. But no material or installation method is foolproof, or maintenance free.

Wheelstops can cause falls when they either shift position, or when the allow for water intrusion into the parking lot creating cracks and potholes. The entity in charge of a parking lot open to the public has a legal duty to ensure that it is free of hazards caused by wheelstops. This is in addition to their general duty to inspect and keep parking lots safe by performing necessary maintenance and repairs.

Safety standards for wheelstops will include:

  • · Limiting the height of the wheelstop to no more than 6"5
  • · Limiting the width of a wheelstop to no more than 6'
  • · Maintaining a gap of at least 3' between adjacent wheelstops to allow for pedestrian foot traffic
  • · Painting wheelstops in a visible color (yellow is the most common)
  • · Ensuring the parking lot is sufficient lite at night so that wheelstops are visible
  • · Not placing wheelstops in locations where they block a designated or natural pedestrian pathway
  • · Repairing or replacing broken wheelstops, or wheelstops that have shifted position

In addition a wheelstop is not by itself sufficient to actually serve as a barrier to stop a moving vehicle. A more effective barrier would need to include a bollard, which is usually installed as a concrete post.

If you or a loved one has been injured after tripping or falling due in a parking lot due to a wheelstop, or other unsafe condition, you should know that you may have a legal right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and for any permanent injury.

If you think that you might have a case you are invited to contact us for a free initial consultation. After meeting with you if we believe that you have a case we will arrange for a professional inspection of the area in which you fell, and we will help you determine what a fair amount of compensation for your case is including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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