Who Is at Fault In A Parking Lot Accident?
These days, if we’re not at home, then we’re probably running an essential errand. A trip to the pharmacy, grocery store, or bank are all considered essential services. Fortunately, the roads are lighter on traffic. You might be able to get to the market or ATM a lot quicker than before the pandemic. You might also think that you’re less likely to get into an accident. But parking lots can be just as prone to accidents as highways or roads. One of the most common reasons is we tend to be more distracted. According to the National Safety Council, 66% of drivers nationwide said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. We look at the most common types of parking lot accidents and how to determine who is at fault in a parking lot accident.
Types of Parking Lot Accidents
A common parking lot accident is when two drivers pull out at the same time and back into each other. In this case, neither driver has the right of way. Both drivers are responsible for making sure they are clear to back up.
Another version of this is when a driver backs out of a parking space into an oncoming car. In this scenario, the driver in the traffic lane has the right of way. The driver backing out must yield to any traffic before pulling out of the space.
Another common parking lot accident scenario is when a driver exits a parking space by driving forward and hits a car in the traffic lane. Again, the driver in the traffic lane has the right of way.
Two Cars, One Parking Space
When two cars are vying for the same parking spot at the same time, they can collide. Both drivers have some responsibility. But there are other factors to consider like the points of impact on the vehicles, how far each car was into the parking spot, and the speed of the cars before the collision.
Some parking lots are big enough that they have traffic lanes and stop signs. When a car rear-ends another vehicle at a stop sign, the driver who rear-ended is most likely at fault. Whether you are in a parking lot or on the road, drivers are expected to leave a safe distance between them and the vehicle in front.
Once you follow all the steps we provide below, we recommend that you call our Las Vegas car accident lawyers, should you be involved in a parking lot accident. Call us at (702) 857-6000. You’ll be glad you did, as we offer the experience and expertise you need to successfully win the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – schedule your free consultation with our accident lawyers today.
What To Do In A Parking Lot Accident
Even if you think the accident wasn’t as serious, it is important to take necessary steps to protect yourself in the long run.
- Cal 911. If you or the other driver is hurt, call 911. It is important that anyone involved in the parking lot accident gets professional medical care.
- Move to a safe area. Hopefully, because you’re in a parking lot, people are not driving fast and will see the accident. However, if you are blocking traffic in any way, move your vehicle to a safe place.
- Call the police. Even if no one is injured, it is important to call the police. Your insurance company may require a police report when filing a claim.
- Collect information. Try to gather as much information as possible. This includes the name, address and phone number of the other driver. Also get the insurance company name and policy number of the other driver. Photograph as much of the accident scene as possible including the license plate number of the other vehicle.
- Do not admit fault! No matter how much you think the accident was your fault, do not admit fault. This could complicate your claim down the road.
- Contact a car accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to walk you through the process of filing a claim.
Determining Who Is At Fault In a Parking Lot Accident
Usually, parking lots consist of numerous lanes with cars parked on either side and lanes around the lot’s perimeter. Smaller lots might only have one row of parking and one lane for vehicles to enter and exit parking spaces. Either way, the vehicles in the through lanes have the right of way. If a driver pulls out into a through lane and collides with a vehicle, the driver pulling out is most likely at fault.
If there are any stop signs and yield signs present, those signs indicate who has the right of way.
When both vehicles are moving, fault will be determined similarly to if the accident happened on the street.
Legally parked car
If you accidentally hit a legally parked vehicle, you will most likely be at fault. This includes hitting the parked car with your door when opening it. This also includes backing into a parked car or clipping it in the lot. If you leave the scene without any effort to contact the owner of the vehicle, this can be considered a hit-and-run.
Tips to Avoid Parking Lot Accidents
- Drive slowly. Follow any posted speed limits and generally keep a slower speed to avoid accidents.
- Follow the lanes; don’t cut across the parking lot diagonally.
- Use signals. Let people know when you intend to turn into a space, when you’re waiting for a space, or when you’re entering or exiting a lane.
- Park in spaces further away from congestion. Though it is tempting to circle the lot for a space closest to the entrance, it’s safer to park away from the traffic. It will also be easier to get out of.
- Only park in spaces you fit. Park as centered as possible between the parking space lines. If your car is too far to one side, you risk someone damaging your car when they open their door.
- Reverse with caution. Watch out for pedestrians, vehicles coming down the lane, and other vehicles backing out of nearby parking spaces.
- Make eye contact. Look out for cars that are backing out of a space with blind spots. Give the driver time to back out until they make eye contact with you.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a parking lot car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents. These accidents include: large trucks or SUVs, accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists, and accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence/with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
If you become the victim in a parking lot car accident, it’s easy to question if you require legal advice. Sometimes people are unsure if they need an attorney, or if a car accident attorney can really make a difference in receiving compensation. Car accident attorneys at our firm offer you the best opportunity to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It’s okay to inform yourself with some data from the Internet. But when it comes to seeking maximum compensation, you’ll want to put your case in the hands of the experts: Anthem Injury Lawyers, serving Las Vegas and vicinity. Don’t wait – receiving the compensation you deserve for your car accident is at stake. Call us today for a free case analysis: (702) 857-6000. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. As a car accident victim, getting back to health should be your first priority: let our lawyers go to work for you and get you the compensation you deserve. Should you need us to, we can come to you. Call us today if you’ve been the victim in a car accident in the Las Vegas area.