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The Possible Dangers of Motor Vehicles are Open and Obvious

Premises Liability / March 7, 2023

Parking lot design, lack of parking blocks or barriers, and negligent vehicle operation are all conditions of the land that are subject to the open and obvious doctrine. Where vehicles operate, the possibility of danger follows. A person with ordinary intelligence understands this point. Whether the injured party anticipated the specific danger near a parking lot is not relevant. The key is whether the possible dangerous condition is readily observable to a person with ordinary intelligence upon causal inspection.

Furthermore, where there is a choice, no matter how minor, a condition is not effectively unavoidable. Also, common, everyday situations cannot be unreasonably dangerous. To rule otherwise would make every situation in or near parking lots or in or around cars unreasonably dangerous.

Unfortunately, cars crash into people from time to time. Although the probability is low, the fact that this happens is not proof of foreseeability. It only matters what the land possessor/owner knew or should have known about the possibility of the specific event which lead to the injury on the property, not every similar event on any property. It is logically inconsistent to argue that a land possessor could and should anticipate any injury on their property while at the same time arguing that the injured party could not foresee the same danger.

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