You might think that a parking lot would be a relatively safe place to walk, as long as it’s either daylight, or the parking lot is well lit. But even under these conditions, parking lots can be extremely dangerous for people to walk. When a vehicle hits the human body, the damage can be catastrophic – or even fatal. Even if the person hit is lucky enough to “only” suffer a short-term injury, it can still be debilitating and incredibly painful.
The vast majority of these incidents occur due to negligence on the part of the vehicle driver. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, please get in touch with The Eberst Law Firm as soon as you can. We have a great deal of experience representing pedestrians who have suffered injuries, and we also have a long track record of success. Call 1-888-CALL-JON or contact us online for a free case review.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Parking Lot Accidents
Accidents happen – and they can happen for a lot of different reasons. Pedestrian parking lot accidents are no exception. These are just a few of the many reasons this kind of accident occurs.
- Distracted driving – Texting or talking on a smartphone is always dangerous behavior – but this is especially the case when someone is driving in a parking lot. Even looking down for a few seconds to change the radio station could result in a devastating collision with a pedestrian.
- Failing to look before putting the car in reverse – When drivers are preoccupied, they sometimes fail to take even the most basic safety measures, like looking before they back their vehicle. In many instances, this type of negligence can have tragic consequences.
- Too focused on finding a parking spot – Drivers can often be in a hurry to park, and they’re completely oblivious to their surroundings as a result. They will often hit pedestrians as a result, who can be hard to see even if a driver is being safe.
- Pressing the gas instead of the brake – Again, far too many people get behind the wheel when their minds are focused on everything except driving safely.
- Pedestrian-caused accidents – While it’s rare, there are instances where a pedestrian is at least partially to blame when a pedestrian parking lot accident occurs. They may, for example, simply assume a driver sees them without making eye contact. Pedestrians are often hit in parking lots because they don’t use walkways, and are hit because drivers can’t see them.
Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
As you might expect, pedestrian parking lot accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. The National Safety Council performed a study of these types of accidents that occurred between 2011 and 2019. According to the results, 47% of injuries occurred to the lower extremities, while 18% involved trunk injuries, such as chest and rib injuries. The study also showed that 10% percent of injuries affected the upper extremities.
Here’s a closer look at the types of injuries that can result from pedestrian parking lot accidents.
- Bruises and contusions – 20%
- General pain and soreness – 23%
- Fractures – 27%
- Muscle sprains, tears and strains – 10%
- Multiple traumatic injuries – 7%
There are instances, however, where people are struck in parking lots by semi-trucks. While you might think it would be impossible to survive, victims often do. However, they’re left with debilitating injuries such as fractured pelvic, leg and arm bones. Traumatic brain injuries are also common.
Tips for Pedestrians to Stay Safe in Parking Lots
There’s obviously no guarantee that following these safety tips will ensure you’ll never be hit by a car in a parking lot. But if you can keep them in mind the chances of that happening will be significantly reduced.
- Always cross in clearly designated crosswalks. The reason they’re there is to alert drivers that pedestrians may be present. If you choose not to use a crosswalk, there’s a very good chance you won’t be visible to a motorist.
- Don’t just assume that a driver will see you, even if you do use a crosswalk. As you already know, drivers can easily be distracted, and may not be focused on where they’re going.
- When you approach a parked vehicle, always look around to make sure there aren’t any others coming.
What to do if You’ve Been Injured in a Parking Lot
If you are ever hurt after being hit by a vehicle in a parking lot, you obviously need to call 911 for medical attention. If possible, you should also try to do the following:
- Exchange contact information with the driver. Never admit fault, even if you believe you’re to blame. Don’t have any sort of conversation other than what it takes to get their information.
- Take photos and/or videos with your phone if you can. This could provide powerful proof that the accident wasn’t at all your fault.
- If there were any witnesses, talk to them and obtain their information as well.
- Report the incident to the police. An officer will come to the scene and file a report. This report could also be an invaluable tool to helping you obtain compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
- Even if you don’t think you’ve been severely hurt, go to the nearest medical center to get checked out anyway. There are some injuries that can take time to show themselves. Also, you might have an adrenaline rush after being hit. That could minimize the symptoms of an injury.
Contact an Attorney After Your Parking Lot Accident
Your first call after receiving medical attention should be to an attorney. Your legal representative will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. An attorney will also shield you from any potential insurance company harassment, and will also work to help you receive a fair settlement from that insurer.
If you would like to learn more about how The Eberst Law Firm may be able to help, please schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. You can reach us by phone at 1-888-CALL-JON or use our online form for more information.