Best Way to Settle Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lots are full of cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles maneuvering in and out of space, so perhaps it is unsurprising that they are hotspots for automobile accidents. Estimates suggest that parking lot accidents account for approximately 20% of all reported automobile mishaps.
Every automobile accident tends to revolve around a unique set of circumstances and determining who is at fault can be just as difficult for parking lot accidents as it can when vehicles are out on the road.
To help you settle which driver is to blame, there are two primary factors to consider.
Firstly, were either of the cars stationery?
If one car is in motion and the other isn’t, then blame almost certainly lies with the driver of the moving vehicle - provided that the stationery car is parked legally.
Secondly, if both vehicles are moving, which had right of way?
This is where determining fault becomes much trickier to resolve. If both vehicles are in motion at the same time, the driver who didn’t have right of way is likely at fault for the accident. This is because it will show that they failed to follow the markings and signs in the lot that are designed to show which vehicles have right of way.
In the event that a parking lot does not have signs and road markings to determine the rules and rights of way inside it, then defining fault will come down to elements such as the context of the accident, any negligence that can be proven, and other factors such as speed of the maneuver.
What to do if you are in a parking lot accident
If you are involved in a vehicle collision in a parking lot, you should treat the situation much the same way as you would a regular road traffic accident. Don’t leave the scene without getting the other driver’s insurance information, or if you hit another car and the driver is not around, leave a note with your contact information so that the incident can be resolved at a later time. Leaving the scene of the accident without an insurance exchange can be classed as ‘not rendering aid to the injured’, which is a crime in most states.
If you can get the police to attend it can be useful for pursuing a claim with your insurance, especially if you are not at fault. This is because police will write up an accident report which usually involves a small depiction of the scene, and this can be valuable evidence when pursuing the other party for damages.
Stay calm and avoid admitting or denying fault at this stage if you can, particularly if tempers are frayed. There is no need for either party to admit liability at this stage as your insurance companies should work out the details of who is at fault.
If you are injured, get checked out by your doctor or an emergency room professional as soon as possible. Ensure that you obtain evidence of your visit and any treatment needed, should you later wish to pursue a claim for any injuries sustained.
Getting evidence to support your claim
When it comes to proving negligent driving caused you to be the victim of a parking lot accident, evidence is essential. You may be able to get details of witnesses at the scene of the collision. However, many parking lot accidents happen while the innocent driver is away from their vehicle, and it is not until they return to their car/motorcycle that they see damage and realize that they have been the victim of a hit and run parking accident.
Our experienced attorney will collate the evidence needed to build a strong, indisputable case against the driver who damaged your vehicle. This may include:
- accessing CCTV footage
- obtaining witness statements
- getting expert opinions on the damage your vehicle has sustained including the type and color of vehicle estimated to have hit it, the angles from which your car has sustained damage and any other physical evidence that may help to determine fault.
- medical evidence (in the event that an injury is sustained)
If you are looking for an attorney to pursue damages for property or injury claims as a result of a parking lot accident, our experienced and knowledgeable team are on hand to help build your case and see you receive the compensation that you deserve. Please telephone our office today to arrange your confidential, no-obligation consultation.