Parking Lot Accidents: A Guide To Legal Remedies And Actions

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by John Robinson

Despite the high number of incidents that occur in parking lots, individuals often consider them to be safe and are less cautious while driving there. It is unlikely that an accident involving two vehicles will result in catastrophic injuries. Accidents, which are frequent in parking lots, are far more serious when pedestrians are involved.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 60,000 people suffer injuries in parking lots every year. Additionally, there are more than 500 fatalities in parking lot accident. Although most parking lots are private property, there are fundamental guidelines to determine who was at fault in parking lot accidents. This article provides a comprehensive view of parking lot accidents and associated legal remedies. 

Common Causes of Accidents

Parking lot owners have a responsibility to create and maintain a parking lot that is reasonably safe under the provisions of premises liability law. Whether the parking lot owner shared fault or was fully to blame, other factors may contribute to or cause an accident. Some common factors are:

  • It can be difficult to see if two drivers back up against each other while driving. It may be necessary to turn your head back to look out the back window, but doing so often results in a blind spot on the driver’s side.
  • Drivers and pedestrians are at risk when pulling into and out of parking spaces. Children are more vulnerable than adults since they are smaller, less familiar with traffic laws, and more likely to move quickly and erratically than adults.
  • Accidents occur when two drivers are focused on the desired spot rather than on oncoming traffic. People become preoccupied with their own space and disregard other drivers. Both pedestrians and other drivers are at risk because of this.

Injury Claim and Compensation

Determining who was at fault is crucial for drivers involved in parking lot collisions to determine who will pay for any vehicle damage and associated injuries. The compensation for damages incurred include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and other unforeseen losses
  • Physical or mental “pain and suffering” brought on by accident

An insurance settlement can compensate for these damages. If the parties cannot agree during the insurance claim process, the next step would be to file a lawsuit in court, where the party found to be at fault would be required to pay the damages available in a claim for a parking lot collision.

Determining Liability

In contrast to typical roadway accidents, determining fault in a parking lot collision might be more difficult. The degree to which you were at fault will be considered when determining verdicts and settlements for parking lot incidents where parties share responsibility. However, there are certain measures to determine liability in a parking lot accident. 

  • The car in the back will typically be at fault if one car rear-ends another. Anywhere there is a road, this rule of auto accident law is applicable.
  • The vehicle making the left turn into the parking place will be held accountable if it collides with another vehicle. This is a fundamental tenet of the legislation governing auto accidents.
  • The vehicle’s driver backing out of the parking place will be held accountable if it collides with the vehicle traveling straight ahead in the lane.
  • Both parties are typically at fault if two cars backing out of opposing parking places collide. 
  • The fault may be shared if two vehicles meet while attempting to occupy the same parking place. However, the driver turning right into the space has priority over the driver turning left, and if one driver was already in the space, their claim would have precedence.

Legal Representation

You might need legal representation in a parking lot accident to ensure that your contribution to the accident is appropriately weighed. Especially if you’ve been hurt or the other driver is attempting to blame you for the parking lot collision, it could be a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.

Final Thoughts

There are certain actions you should take in an accident. Measures like attending to the injured, exchanging insurance information with the other driver, and reporting the accident to the police, should be taken if you find yourself in a parking lot collision. Additionally, you should gather documentation and report the accident to the property owner.

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