If I was walking through a store parking lot, what are my rights if I was injured by the trailer hitch on a truck?

A truck with a hitch was parked. Its backend was 4 ft past marked lines and hitch about another 6 inches further out into traffic lane (area between parking sections). I fell because the trailer hitch impacted my knee cap and I went down. There was nothing in tow. The tag number was noted and witness info gathered. The owners of vehicle came out and the witness and stated what had happened. Isn’t there a law that makes having a hitch attached with nothing in tow illegal? What are the responsibilities of the store and the truck owners in question. I am having an X-ray and whatever else needed done.

Asked on November 20, 2015 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, Wal-mart has no legal obligations here whatsoever: the owner (or renter, if they don't own the land) of a parking lot is not liable for injuries caused on its lot by persons not under its control--like by a customer. 
Second, regardless of whether the truck should or should not have had a trailer hitch with nothing on two, you are the one who walked into a stationary, visible object (the hitch). Therefore, even if the truck's driver and/or owner was negligent or otherwise acted improperly, you were almost certainly negligent, or careless (walking into the stationary object) as well. Your own negligence would reduce, and possibly eliminate, any amounts you'd otherwise be entitled to recover.
While it would be worthwhile for you to consult in more detail with a personal injury attorney, based on what you write, there is a good chance you are not entitled to compensation from anyone in this case.


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