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Parking Garage Owners Responsible for Maintaining Safe Environment

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“I had the instinctive feeling I was going to die tonight—unless I did something,” Kristen McMains said, who was attacked and stabbed in a parking garage in January 2016.

Kristen was walking to her car after work when a man got into the parking garage elevator with her. She felt suspicious of the man when he did not push any buttons on the elevator, so when the door opened, she sprinted to her car. The man chased her and tackled her before she could get her whole body into the car, and he proceeded to stab her in the stomach.

Luckily, McMains was wearing a heavy coat on this day, so the knife did not injure her. The man then demanded she get in the passenger seat of her car, and she found an opportunity to shoot him with the gun she was licensed to carry, and this gave her the opportunity to get away.

These stories are horrifying to hear. No woman should ever have to experience what McMains experienced that day. Though she made it out alive, she did not make it out injury-free. In addition to the mental and emotional trauma of the incident, her hamstring was torn, and she required an extensive procedure on her hip. The recovery was so long and painful that she had to quit her new job and return to her parent’s house in Indianapolis.

The most devastating part of this story is the fact that it could have been avoided if only the parking garage provided adequate security. Parking garages are the setting of many stranger-to-stranger crimes. This is due to the ability of a predator to blend right in with everyone else in the garage, the low lighting, and the lack of witnesses. Bearing all of this in mind, and with the statistics of this type of attack rising, it is the responsibility of parking garage owners to ensure that this type of crime is not encouraged by conditions in their garages.

Prevention Responsibility of Parking Garage Owner

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There are many minor changes that the owner of a parking garage can do in order to increase safety in his garage:

Better Lighting: The better lighting that a parking garage has, the less shadows are provided for perpetrators to hide. Be sure to maintain a well-lit environment.

Security Guard: There should always be multiple guards working at a time in order to patrol and watch the space for any suspicious behavior.

Surveillance Cameras: Be sure that there is not one inch of the parking garage that cannot be seen on camera, and be sure to have one or multiple guards watching the cameras at all times for suspicious behavior. In the incident above, the perpetrator was able to attack because he knew he was in an area that the cameras did not reach.

Provide Safety Buttons: Be sure to provide multiple safety buttons on every floor so that if anyone is attacked, he or she can get to the button to call for help if need be.

Provide Adequate Signs and Markings: If someone must search too hard to find her car, she is likely to be distracted, and therefore may not be completely alert to her surroundings. Be sure to make the search for one’s car relatively easy through the use of signs and markers.

Because this parking lot neglected to create a safe space for customers, this woman had to experience a traumatic attack, and the garage owner may be held liable for her injuries both physically and mentally. If you were attacked in a parking garage because of the lack of security, you do not have to deal with the trauma on your own. Let us fight for you. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.