The Basics of Parking Lot Accidents

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The Basics of Parking Lot Accidents

Many people do not know just how dangerous parking lots can be. Parking lot accidents are frequently automatically assumed to be relatively minor. After all, nobody can go too fast in a parking lot—so how serious could it be? Unfortunately, it is this blase attitude that makes parking lots so full of potential dangers. In reality, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that parking lots and garage structures see tens of thousands of crashes on an annual basis.

Very few people are on their best behavior when they assume they are invulnerable. Additionally, parking lot accidents can be incredibly difficult and complex to resolve. Drivers, law enforcement officers, insurance companies, and victims alike will all need to work hard to establish liability—making settlement hard to come by. Road rules and regulations are clear when you are on the road, but what happens when you are inside a parking lot?

It can all feel overwhelming to take on on your own, especially if you suffered personal injuries during the accident. Procuring a competent car accident lawyer can expedite the process, ensuring that you have the best possible options available to you. At Injury Victim Law, we put you first. We have helped countless clients successfully resolve their parking lot accident claims. We can help you, too.

Common Parking Lot Accidents

One of the things that makes parking lots so tricky is the diversity of design. While roads and intersections tend to be uniform, parking lots may be much more unpredictable. Still, certain types of accidents tend to happen more frequently than others, regardless of the parking lot’s design. For instance, two cars may end up simultaneously backing into each other—usually The Basics of Parking Lot Accidentswhen the two drivers are backing out of their respective parking spaces. Both drivers are in each other’s blind spots, thus causing a collision. In cases like these, both drivers will generally be held liable for the accident.

Additionally, one driver may back out of their parking space and back into a car moving through the traffic lane. The driver passing through will rarely ever have enough time to react, thus causing a collision. Or the reverse may happen, where a driver pulls forward into a parking space and, inadvertently, into an oncoming vehicle. Perhaps surprisingly, both drivers may be held liable in cases like these. Though drivers in the traffic lane tend to have the right of way, they must also proceed only after ensuring that their path is clear. 

Moreover, two drivers may try to enter the same parking space simultaneously. Neither driver is willing to yield because they both feel that the parking space is rightfully theirs, thus causing a collision. Liability can be complicated in cases like these, and will generally be determined by assessing a variety of factors (such as who was turning right, who was turning left, or who was turning across traffic). It may help to remember that any driver turning across traffic must yield the right of way to any oncoming vehicles.

It is also particularly common for a driver to come to a sudden stop and get rear-ended by the vehicle behind them. Like with most rear-end accidents, liability will generally fall on the vehicle doing the rear-ending, as all drivers are expected to keep an adequate following distance to prevent such accidents.

Establishing liability can be a long and painstaking process, especially if you are relying on settlement money to make a full recovery. Working with a respected parking lot accident attorney can help. The right lawyer will be able to explain all your best options and advocate for you and your rights, so you can turn your attention back to your recovery.

Pedestrian Dangers in Parking Lots

Of course, pedestrians are even more at risk in parking lots than drivers are. Whether they have been lulled into a false sense of security by the low-speed limits or have lost themselves in their focus to find the perfect parking space, distracted drivers abound in parking lots. They may even feel comfortable enough to turn their full attention to their phone or stereo, rather than paying attention to the road in front of them. It is easy to see how this, along with the complicated geography of a parking lot, could be a bad combination.

In particular, parking lots tend to be full of tight corners, narrow lanes, and sharp turns. Any inattention here has the potential to end in a disastrous mistake. Some studies actually argue that a parking lot is among one of the most dangerous places for a pedestrian to be. In fact, a recent AAA Mid-Atlantic study showed that 30 percent of pedestrian accidents in the region occurred in parking lots.

Nobody ever wants to be in any sort of vehicular collision. For obvious reasons, pedestrians are at particular risk for serious injuries after a car accident. After all, there is very little one person can do with a 2-ton car barrelling towards them. Nearly every victim of a pedestrian accident has suffered a traumatizing ordeal. You deserve someone in your corner you can trust. That is why procuring a competent legal team is the best thing you can do for yourself and your case.

Seeking Legal Help

Were you or a loved one recently injured in a parking lot accident? Do not rely on insurance for the compensation you deserve. An insurance company is a business like any other—meaning their own bottom line comes first. They have every reason to minimize your settlement—if you are even lucky enough to get one at all. Fortunately, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help.

Though we are a Colorado-based law firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide car accident attorneys.

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