Parking lot car accidents typically occur at a low rate of speed. Nonetheless, they can still result in extensive vehicle damage. And they may also carry the risk of causing severe injuries. Being in any sort of wreck can obviously cause a lot of stress. But it can also lead to a lot of confusion as well. An experienced car accident attorney can handle all of the complexities on your behalf so you can get on with your life.
An attorney with The Eberst Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Our firm delivers results. And we’re passionate about making sure our clients’ rights are protected at all times. Whether you were the driver or passenger of a car, or you were a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, we’ll be more than ready to provide the expert legal representation you need.
How Frequently do Accidents Occur in Parking Lots?
You might be surprised to learn that, according to some estimates, parking lot car accidents make up as much as 20% of all vehicular accidents in the country. The number could actually be much higher, considering that many parking lot collisions are minor, leading to little more than slight damage to each vehicle. These types of accidents typically aren’t reported to law enforcement agencies.
On the other hand, even a supposedly “innocent” parking lot collision can sometimes lead to significant injuries that can take months – or even years – to recover from completely.
Types of Parking Lot Car Accidents
Just like car accidents that take place on a highway, parking lot car accidents come in many forms. These are a few of the more common ones.
Car Backs Out into Oncoming Vehicle
Drivers can be preoccupied because they’re in a hurry or distracted. They might absentmindedly back out of the parking spot and slam into an oncoming car as a result.
Two Cars Back Out at the Same Time
When this happens, both drivers will usually share liability. Neither one of them had the right of way because they were moving at the same time. This can be a fairly complex type of case because it’s difficult to determine fault. But if you’re in a so-called “simultaneous backup” accident, don’t assume that you’ll be held responsible. Talk to an attorney as soon as you can. And never admit any kind of fault.
One Vehicle Pulls Out (or Pulls Through) and Hits Another
A motorist might try to take a shortcut through a parking lot, driving through empty spaces instead of exiting the proper way, through clearly established lanes of traffic. If they do this and hit a car that’s traveling in the correct fashion, they may be held liable for the accident.
Collision at a Stop Sign
If someone is stopped at a parking lot stop sign and is hit from behind, they could suffer severe neck and back pain due to the other driver’s negligence. The neck may suddenly move back and forth in a violent whipping motion. This can cause extremely painful whiplash.
In this scenario, the motorist who hits the stationary car will probably be blamed. This will be the case even if the other driver came to a sudden stop. The reason is that the rear vehicle driver either should not have been following so closely. Or they should’ve been driving slow enough to be able to react in plenty of time.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
There are a lot of reasons why parking lot collisions take place, including the following.
Failing to Check Blind Spots and Rear-View Mirrors
Again, people are oftentimes in a hurry when they leave a parking space. They may be running late getting back to work at the end of their lunch hour, or they have to get to their next destination as quickly as possible. They’ll often neglect to check their mirrors and blind spots, and hit another car.
Distractions, Such as Texting or Setting up GPS
Just about everyone has a smartphone these days, of course, and some people simply can’t stop looking at them, or talking or texting. Others might not be sure of the directions they need to follow to get to another place, so they’ll try to set up their GPS while backing out or driving through a parking lot.
When they do this, and they hit someone else due to being distracted, they will very likely have to assume either all or most of the blame. According to a CBS News article, nearly 70% of people say they have no problem making a phone call in a parking lot while driving. More than 50% would even be comfortable sending an email – or even watching a video. It’s incredible that so many people are oblivious to the dangers of doing this, not realizing that a collision at 5 miles an hour can be extremely dangerous.
When a motorist is in too much of a rush to either leave a parking lot or find a space, and they slam into another vehicle because they’re speeding, the results can be terrible. Making matters worse for that driver, they will have to face accountability for their negligence.
Steps to Take After a Parking Lot Accident
If you’re ever in a parking lot accident, get medical help immediately if you have any reason to believe you’ve been hurt. If you haven’t suffered an injury, try to gather as much evidence as you can. This will be a huge help if you need to take legal action to get the compensation you deserve. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Write down the date and time of the accident.
- Take pictures and videos of the damage to your car, as well as damage to any other vehicles involved in the accident.
- Call the police to report the accident. But DO NOT CALL 911 unless you or someone else has suffered an injury. Call the non-emergency line instead.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information if possible.
- Talk to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to determine what you need to do next.
Contact Eberst Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation Today
The Eberst Law Firm has a team of skilled legal representatives who can work to help make sure you get any money you have coming to you resulting from your parking lot accident. Call 1-888-CALL-JON or contact us online for a free consultation.