In a parking lot accident, the at-fault party is usually the driver who failed to yield the right of way. Liability may also rest with a driver who parked illegally or failed to use their turn signals. Since many parking lot accidents occur when drivers are backing out of spaces, insurers may contest who bears the fault.
Like any other car accident, parking lot accidents can cause several damages to property and some injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Because of this, accident victims have a legal right to sue or file a claim against the at-fault party and recover damages.
Various Factors Come into Play in Parking Lot Accidents
Though parking lot accidents are common, their severity depends on the vehicles’ speed or nature of the accident. These accidents can cause damages to vehicles and bodily injuries, such as broken bones, bruising, concussion, whiplash, and more.
If you sustain injuries or damages to your property in a parking lot accident, you will need to determine who’s at fault.
Note that fault in such accidents depends on several factors, such as who had the right of way and whether drivers used their turn signals. Here are some factors to consider when determining fault.
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What Are the Possible Scenarios for Parking Lot Accidents?
Parking lots consist of two major roadways: feeder lanes and thoroughfare lanes. Feeder lanes connect to thoroughfare lanes, which are the lanes that either cut through the parking lot or exits onto the road.
When a Driver Is Backing Out of a Parking Space
If you are in a feeder lane, you must ensure that the thoroughfare lane is clear before backing up or pulling out of the parking spot.
If the accident involves only one stationary and one mobile car, the at-fault party can be the driver of the vehicle that was moving. Since these accidents occur in tight spots, parking lots, or when a driver is trying to parallel park, they can be liable for not using reasonable care when trying to park or back up from the parking.
Note that the moving car has the right-of-way in parking lots. However, if the driver of the moving vehicle was speeding or didn’t obey traffic laws, both drivers can be at-fault for the collision.
When Drivers Are Navigating a Parking Lot
On the other hand, if both cars were moving, you would need to know who had the right-of-way to determine who was at fault. In this case, the driver who is guilty of violating traffic rules or patterns such as yielding the right of way will be at-fault for the crash. In some cases, all the drivers may be at fault.
A lawyer from our firm can determine fault and pursue fair compensation.
When Is the Driver Backing Up Not at Fault?
Though the vehicle on the thoroughfare lane has the right of way, some scenarios can exempt the backing-up driver from fault. These scenarios include:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield
If the moving driver is guilty of these situations, the driver backing up from the parking lot may not be at fault, or fully at fault, for the accident.
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How Can You Prevent Parking Lot Accidents?
Though it is not always possible to prevent some accidents, there are several things that you can do to ensure you are not at fault, minimize risk and protect your claim in parking lot accidents. To prevent such accidents, you can:
- Take time to watch out for other vehicles before backing up
- Watch out for pedestrians
- Use technology such as sensors and cameras to minimize risks
- Be aware of your environment
Always remember to collect the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, photos of injuries or damages to the property, and a police report. Your lawyer can also collect video footage from surveillance cameras to help determine fault and prove damages.
Contact The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a Free Case Review
Suppose you’re in a parking lot accident. In that case, you need the best legal help to investigate the case, determine negligence, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages to your vehicle. If another driver hit you in a parking lot, contact The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 for your free consultation.
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