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Personal Injury Law

Parking Gate Arm Injuries

Introduction to Parking Gate Arm/Automatic Gate Defect Injury Law


Many parking lots have “parking gate arms” that control the flow of traffic into the lot and keep track of the number of cars that go in and out. These devices are common in parking garages and lots at locations such as movie theaters, shopping malls, office buildings, and countless others. These parking gate arms, and also automatic garage doors and garage gates, can cause serious injuries to pedestrians and motorists in the event they malfunction.

Pedestrians walking underneath automatic parking gates can be struck in the head, sometimes resulting in severe head and brain injuries. Victims who have been injured as a result of a defective or poorly maintained garage gate arm, garage door, or garage gate have the legal right to file a lawsuit against all the responsible parties, which may include the building or park lot owner, a management company, a maintenance crew, and the manufacturer of the defective device. Some common injuries associated with parking gate arm accidents include:

  • Broken Bones

  • Concussion

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Spinal Cord Injury

  • Facial Injuries and Lacerations

  • Severe Neck and Spine Contusions

  • Paralysis

Compensation for your injuries can vary, depending on many factors, including, most importantly, the degree of injury caused by the parking lot gate arm, garage door or garage gate. Obviously, an injured person will receive more compensation for a brain injury than for a hand injury, because it requires more costly treatment and has a greater and longer-lasting impact on his or her life. That being said, while a bruised hand may not be as significant as a brain injury, the compensation for hand injuries can still be substantial. For instance, the gate arm can hit and rupture one of the many nerves contained within the hand, causing pain and decreasing hand dexterity.

Who Can I Sue to Recover for a Parking Lot Gate Arm Injury? Property Owner Liability

The first party to look to for liability is generally the proper owner. Places such as shopping malls, schools, office buildings, and stadiums are all responsible to visitors for the proper safety, maintenance and upkeep of their property, as are individual homeowners. Compensation for your injuries is partly based on the severity of the negligent acts of the property owner and parking lot management company. For instance, the owner or management company may have failed to properly inspect or repair the parking lot gate arm, garage door or garage gate.

In Ohio, the property owner’s responsibility varies based upon the “classification” of the injured person. In general, visitors to a property fall into three main categories - invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Each case is different, and it is always important to speak to a personal injury attorney in order to determine the extent to which a property owner may be held responsible for your injury.

Who Can I Sue to Recover for my Injuries? Defective Product Lawsuit

Another avenue available for receiving compensation from parking lot gate arm, garage door or garage gate injuries is to hold the designer and/or manufacturer of the faulty device responsible. Usually there are three ways which recovery for your injuries can based on a product liability claim: (1) Defect in the original design of the gate; (2) Defect in the manufacturing of the device, which is generally proven if the finished product is shown to be different and as a result more dangerous than the intended original design; and (3) Labeling defect: failure to warn users of the dangerous and hazardous conditions associated with the use of the product.

Compensation for Injuries:

If you have suffered harm caused by a parking gate arm accident due to the negligent or intentional acts of others, you are entitled to compensation. Monetary recovery can be based on numerous factors including.

  • All medical expenses including emergency room and hospitalization costs and prescription drug costs

  • Future medical and rehabilitation costs

  • Pain and suffering including emotional distress, mental anguish and post-traumatic stress

  • Lost wages and future reduction in income

  • Punitive damages, depending on the circumstances

Contact The Durst Law Firm for a FREE consultation if you have suffered an injury from a parking lot gate arm, garage door or garage gate.

If you have been injured, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you to understand who to make a claim against and to work with you to build your case. The Durst Law Firm will guide you through every stage of the case until justice is done. Alex Durst has twice been named a “Super Lawyer” and has extensive personal injury experience.