Most car accidents occur on public roads but sometimes cars collide in parking lots. Since these crashes generally don’t take place at high speeds, you may assume that they don’t result in serious injuries. However, parking lot accidents can be just as dangerous as other accidents. Victims may suffer whiplash, cuts and bruises, back injuries and more.
If another driver crashes into your vehicle and injures you, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you will likely need an attorney to help you prove that someone else was liable for your injuries. Sometimes, the other driver is at fault but other times, the entity responsible for the parking lot may have to compensate you. Parking lot accidents aren’t necessarily more straightforward than other crashes. Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider.
The Difference Between Parking Lot Accidents and Other Car Accidents
Many parking lots are on private property, unlike roads which are usually public property. Therefore, unless there are serious injuries, the police may not always respond quickly. However, you should still contact the authorities immediately and make a report. You should also exchange the usual information with the other driver such as your name and address, contact details, and insurance details. This will ensure that you have everything you need to file a claim.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may also have grounds for taking legal action against the landowner. This would be applicable if there were problems with the parking lot that led to your accident. Maybe the lighting was poor, there was lots of debris, or the parking spaces weren’t properly marked. Uneven pavements can also lead to accidents.
To get compensation, you would have to prove that the owner was negligent and that their negligence led to your injuries and other losses. Proving negligence means showing that the property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and failed to address it. Your Indiana car accident lawyer will advise you on how to proceed.
Common Types of Parking Lot Crashes
There are multiple ways in which accidents can happen in a parking lot. If one driver had the right of way and the other failed to yield, it may be easier to determine who was at fault. Parking lot accidents can occur when:
- A driver pulls out of a parking space and collides with another vehicle that’s coming down a lane. Usually, the driver who pulled out is deemed to be at fault.
- A driver reverses out of a parking space and hits a car that’s coming down the lane. Before backing out of a parking spot, drivers should give way to pedestrians and other vehicles. They shouldn’t move off before it is safe to do so. Otherwise, they can be held responsible if they hit a person or a vehicle.
- Two drivers collide with each other while reversing out of their respective parking spaces. In such a situation, the drivers would likely share fault since they both had a responsibility to make sure it was safe to move off.
- A driver rear-ends another. As is the case on a public road, motorists must ensure there’s adequate distance between them and the vehicle in front of them. They should also travel at a safe speed. Generally, drivers who rear-end other vehicles are held liable for injuries and other losses.
- A driver makes a sudden turn in front of an oncoming vehicle. Drivers often turn suddenly when they spot an open space in an otherwise packed parking lot. However, vehicles turning left don’t have the right of way and they should wait for traffic to pass before proceeding. A driver who makes a left turn and hits another vehicle will usually be deemed responsible.
Contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood to Discuss Your Case
Given the frequency with which drivers use parking lots, it’s not surprising that accidents occur. These crashes not only leave victims nursing injuries, but they may prevent them from working for some time. If someone else’s negligence led to your injuries, our Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Stewart|Phelps|Wood will help you fight for compensation. We’ll investigate, gather evidence, and determine who can be held liable for your injuries and other losses.
Whether a driver was responsible for the accident or the parking lot itself was dangerous, we can help you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and benefit from our experience and knowledge. If you hire us, we won’t charge you until we get compensation for you via settlement or jury verdict.