Accidents in a Parking Lot: Information to Protect Your Rights

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Personal Injury

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Parking lots pose significant risks to people’s health and safety because of the dangers that lurk around every corner and vehicle. Parking lots can be dangerous due to the large number of cars and pedestrians that travel through them in office buildings, shopping malls, apartment buildings, and other locations.

Because of the near proximity of the cars, drivers frequently cannot see well behind them until they start to reverse, by which time it is frequently too late to avoid a collision. Accidents in a parking lot happen every day in the United States.

How Common are Parking Lot Accidents?

Most people tend to focus on crowded intersections, freeway on-ramps, and inclement weather when considering situations where they are most vulnerable to accidents or injuries, and with good reason. However, a parking lot is another high-risk location that you would not think about. In the United States, around one in five car accidents happen in parking lots.

How many crashes happen in a parking lot? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), at least 60,000 individuals are hurt in parking lots and garages annually on average. Five hundred or more of these individuals sustained fatal injuries. Parking lot driving can be frustrating. They might be crowded with pedestrians and challenging to drive in.

Due to the slow speed at which you must drive, parking lots are often perceived as safe, but this perception alone makes them far more dangerous than they need to be. Let’s see some of the parking lot accident statistics. In the US, 66% of drivers make phone calls while driving in the parking lot, 63% configure their GPS, 56% send texts, and 52% use social media, according to a National Safety Council survey.

Main Causes of Accidents in a Parking Lot

Knowing why accidents in a parking lot occur can help you avoid causing accidents. Parking garage accidents occur for a number of reasons. Vehicle crashes and car crashes are the main factors leading to injuries in parking garages.

  • Backing out of parking spaces without looking for other
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Hazardous premises
  • Using a phone while driving or walking
  • Being negligent behind the wheel
  • Poor lighting
  • Going too fast
  • Going in the wrong direction
  • Losing control of the vehicle

The negligence of the vehicle’s driver causes the vast majority of these occurrences. Don’t hesitate to contact a parking lot accident attorney as soon as you can if parking accidents happen to you.

Injuries in Parking Lot Car Accidents

Accidents in a parking lot can result in severe injuries, including:

When a car strikes a person, the results can be disastrous or even fatal. Even if the victim is fortunate enough to have a temporary injury, it can be crippling and excruciatingly painful.

Parking lot crashes should receive the same level of attention as collisions on the road. Stay at the site and call the police to file a report if you are hurt in a parking lot collision.

Suppose you sustained any injuries due to an accident in a parking lot, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. In that case, you are entitled to a sizeable parking lot accident settlement for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other damages.

What are the Common Types of Accidents in a Parking Lot?

Numerous accidents in parking lots happen because of the potential for confusion regarding the movement of pedestrians and traffic, such as when:

Single vehicle crash: A moving car collides with a fixed item, like a sign, concrete board, or building, in a parking garage or lot. Although the driver of the car would usually be held responsible, negligence on the part of the property owner can play a vital role in some single-vehicle collision in parking lot.

Pedestrian-car accident: Parking lots are hazardous sites for pedestrian accident injuries due to the high traffic volume, the large number of pedestrians, and the prevalent practice of cutting lanes and moving in the wrong direction.

Pedestrians struck by moving vehicles sustain injuries that are parking lot-related. In non-traffic incidents involving backing cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 926 fatalities between 2008 and 2011.

Although backing sensors and using rearview cameras can help prevent these collisions, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that just one in six of these collisions can be avoided by crash-avoidance technology.

Parking garage negligence claims for injuries may be appropriate when a pedestrian sustains injuries in a parking lot collision. The driver, the owner of the property, or other individuals, depending on the circumstances, could potentially be held legally accountable.

Two-car accident with one moving: The driver of the moving vehicle is usually to blame when a stopped or parked car collides with it. The other driver is generally to blame if your automobile was lawfully stopped or parked when the collision occurred.

Two-vehicle collision: Both parties are typically at fault if two cars backing out of opposing parking spaces collide. Everybody must keep an eye out for other vehicles and refrain from backing up unless it is safe to do so.

Rear-ended in parking lot: No matter where the rear-end collision happens, the tailgating driver is always to blame for causing the crash, according to comparative negligence laws. In a parking lot, nothing is different.

Who is at Fault for Parking Lot Accidents?

It could be challenging to assign blame in a parking lot car accident. Car accidents in parking lots who is at fault? A driver’s mistake is a common cause of accidents in a parking lot, which means either one or both drivers may be to blame. Consider speaking with a parking lot accident attorney first if you have been in any accidents.

Are parking lot car accidents always 50/50? No. It’s not true. Failure to give way to a vehicle passing by the parking spaces in the parking lot will result in the driver being held entirely responsible for the collision.

Lawyers for parking garages and car accident victims frequently bring claims against the following parties:

Negligent pedestrians: Collision in parking lot can be caused by more than just drivers. It is becoming more dangerous for pedestrians to text or talk on their phones while walking because they risk walking directly into the path of a moving automobile.

Owners of parking lots: Property owners are expected to manage their parking lots and garages for their clients’ and users’ security. Property owners must offer a well-planned, conspicuously designated, and adequately lit parking area. The parking lot owner may be held accountable for accidents if these primary conditions aren’t satisfied.

Maintenance companies: If your parking lot is poorly maintained and an accident occurs, you could sue the company for legal action.

Driver’s fault: Every time a driver gets behind the wheel, they have a duty of care that is reasonable for their circumstances. They must go even more cautiously if the space is crowded. In a parking lot collision, the driver is ultimately the party most likely to be at fault, but if additional variables were present, additional culpable parties might also be found.

Government: The government agency in charge of managing a municipal lot may be liable for your damages if you get wounded there. In this situation, you must act quickly because you only have a limited amount of time to begin the processes.

Parking Lot Driving Safety

Best practices are the same as those you’d use if you were involved in a collision on the road or in a public place regarding safeguarding yourself and your legal rights.

It would help if you remained alert and cautious to prevent accidents in a parking lot, regardless of who has the right-of-way. Always use caution when moving forward, whether you are a motorist or a pedestrian, and keep a close eye on any children you may have with you.

When driving, always stay in your lane, just like you would on a conventional road. Many motorists frequently make diagonal or sharp turns in parking lots, although doing so increases your risk of being in an accident.

Drivers should never rely on mirrors or cameras to check their blind areas; they should always check them manually. Always drive slowly and cautiously so you can stop swiftly if a different car or person suddenly enters your path.

Be mindful of everything around you, especially other drivers and pedestrians. Last but not least, when you are in a parking lot, do not limit your ability to respond fast; your call or text can wait a few seconds, which could eventually cost a life.

Although you cannot control the actions of other drivers, you can take some precautions to lessen the likelihood of an accident. You can reduce the potential pain and suffering by ultimately preventing the accident by taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings.

Parking Lot Accidents: What to Do Next?

If you were hurt in the parking lot, you must seek medical attention and list all of your parking lot injuries. Get the full name, address, phone number, and insurance information of the at-fault driver if they are still on the scene.

If it’s safe to do so, document the accident in parking lot scene with photos. Check for any eyewitnesses there. Furthermore, note any details about the location and what happened there. Not only will all of this information be helpful when making an insurance claim, but it can also be helpful if you decide to take legal action.

Why should you be responsible for paying for the consequences if you weren’t the one who caused the accident? Your health should come first when you are hurt in an accident, but you shouldn’t be responsible for covering your medical bills. Parking lot acccident lawyers will assist you in recovering your losses, such as;

  • Lost income
  • Emotional distress
  • Costs of rehabilitation
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

A patient’s medical history and overall care are documented in a set of documents called medical records. Legal teams must review the patient’s medical records to identify the case’s strengths and weaknesses.

To conclude

Overall, parking lots might be far riskier than most people realize. Raising awareness regarding distracted and irresponsible driving while in the parking lot is crucial to making the roads safer overall because a significant portion of all motor vehicle accidents and insurance claims take place there.

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Medlegal 360

MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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