WHAT TO DO AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT

With the holidays approaching, more and more people will be finding themselves circling the busy parking lots of shopping malls, grocery stores and other shopping centers in the coming weeks. These parking lots can all be potential minefields for accidents, injuries, and property damage, so it is important to know how this can occur and what to do if it happens to you.

COMMON TYPES OF PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS

The types of accidents which can occur in a parking lot vary in severity and can include:

– Minor door dings as one is exiting or entering their vehicle in a tight space;

– Rear-end collisions between two vehicles backing out of their parking stalls;

– Collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian trying to get to their car;

– Hit-and-runs involving a vehicle striking another and leaving the scene;

– And many others…

These can arise for a variety of reasons including tight spaces, limited visibility and simply the sheer number of vehicles and pedestrians trying to share the same space.

WHO IS AT FAULT IN A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT?

After an accident, your insurance company has the responsibility of determining fault for the accident. Determining fault in a parking lot accident can be difficult and is very fact dependent.

Generally, a vehicle that is in motion will be deemed at fault if they hit a parked, stationary vehicle. However, if the stationary vehicle is parked incorrectly, there may be some liability on the stationary vehicle as well, resulting in a liability split.

In the case of two moving vehicles, the issue of liability becomes even more complex. For example, in the case of two vehicles reversing out of their parking stalls into one another, liability will typically be deemed 50-50. However, in the case where one vehicle is backing out of a space and a collision occurs with an oncoming vehicle in the lane of traffic, the vehicle backing up will likely bear a larger portion, if not all, of the liability for the accident.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT?

The steps to take after an accident in a parking lot will be similar to those taken after any other kind of motor vehicle accident. You can read more about these steps here.

Due to the complexities surrounding liability, you may especially want to take photos at the scene and speak with witnesses. It can also be helpful to have a dashcam installed for these kinds of scenarios.

Finally, if you are injured in an accident in a parking lot, you may also want to consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer who can provide you with information and advice regarding your recovery and any possible claims to which you may be entitled.