From head-on collisions to vehicle rollovers, it’s a popular notion that car accidents only occur on busy highways, or in the middle of intersections. As a result, drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists tend to use less caution when in a parking lot.
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But according to DriversEd.com, parking lot crashes account for 14 percent of all insurance claims. Though property damage is the most common result of a parking lot crash, personal injuries can and do occur – from scrapes and bruises to even death. In fact, the National Safety Council revealed that at least 60,000 people are injured and 500 more are killed in parking lots each year.
Regardless of your location, you should always be aware of your surroundings; a collision can take place anywhere.
If you’ve recently been involved in a wreck, we want to offer our sincerest condolences. During this trying time, you could benefit from having an advocate on your side. Contact The Flood Law Firm today by calling (877)-987-9LAW. From phone calls to medical records, we will handle all aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on what is most important – your healing.
A lot of things can go awry in a parking lot. Often, these types of wrecks happen when a driver backs out of a parking space without looking, gets hit from behind after stopping suddenly, or turns too quickly in front of an oncoming vehicle.
Despite that drivers are supposed to drive much more slowly in a parking lot, wrecks are still frequent, as multiple cars are moving in several different directions and in much smaller spaces. Causes for the accident can vary, but mostly include one the following:
Because stop signs and other traffic laws are not forcible in parking lots, determining who has the right of way can be problematic. As well, drivers are typically focused on finding a parking spot, distracting them from other cars and pedestrians.
Most parking lot accidents happen when a vehicle is backing out of a space and hits another car. In this instance, the driver traveling in reverse will almost always be held liable for the wreck. There are circumstances where the driver of the other vehicle may be at fault – if he or she is speeding, for example. But the driver backing up is responsible for ensuring the area is clear and it is safe to do so.
The same rule applies for drivers pulling forward out of a parking spot and hitting a pedestrian or car: The driver vacating the spot will be held liable for the accident. The vehicle traveling straight generally has the right of way, while a parked or turning vehicle is responsible for yielding to all others.
In most rear-end collisions, the driver who rear-ends the car ahead is liable for the wreck, and parking lot collisions are no different. It is the responsibility of all drivers to confirm a safe and adequate distance is kept between themselves and the leading vehicle.
If a driver turns in front of oncoming traffic, he or she is liable for any damages that result from a collision. The same is true when a driver makes a fast-left-hand turn into a parking spot and hits an oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction. It is the driver’s duty to be sure he or she has enough time to safely make the move.
Lastly, parking lot accidents often occur when two drivers backing out of two different spots collide. Who is at fault? In this case, both drivers can be held equally responsible, as each are obligated to be aware of their surroundings.
As with any type of car accident, certain steps should be taken immediately following the crash – even if the incident takes place in a parking lot.
First, ensure that you and everyone else involved in the collision is safe. If medical attention is required, call 9-1-1. Your health, as well as the health of others, is your biggest priority.
Next, make a police report. Whether any personal injuries or property damage seems serious, it’s still advised to create an official record of the accident. Some injuries won’t become noticeable for a day or two, making police and medical statements even more significant. Regardless if you’re hurt, consider seeing a doctor for a routine checkup. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the collision. This information should include:
Following an accident, remember to never admit fault – even if you think you are responsible. Circumstances unknown to you can prove that you aren’t liable for the wreck.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, document the scene by taking photographs. Images can help make your claim stronger, especially if the other driver becomes difficult or argumentative during the legal process.
If the driver takes off without stopping see our information on hit and run accidents and what steps you should take.
No matter how mild or severe a car accident is, they are often damaging and inconvenient. From personal injuries to property damage, moving forward can sometimes be an expensive, stressful procedure. At The Flood Law Firm, we will handle all aspects of your case, allotting you the appropriate time to recover.
Contact us today by calling (877)-987-9LAW. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to help determine your best options following a wreck. You are not alone – let us be your advocates!