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Who Is To Blame For A Parking Lot Accident?

One of the tasks most people dread is going to the grocery store, especially on weekends. We all know people are supposed to drive slowly in a parking lot, but not everyone does and serious accidents occur. Many people are driving distracted. Most are in a rush and trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. All of these circumstances can not only lead to car on car accidents, but also shopping carts, pedestrians, and barriers can be hit. On the plus side, auto accidents in parking lots are usually not so serious because of the slower speeds, but determining who had the right away can be complicated. Here are some tips to help you determine who is at fault.

Right Of Way Rules In Parking Lots

Your typical parking lots have multiple lanes and the cars are parked on both sides. The following are several examples of common parking lot accidents and who is responsible:

● Rear End Collision: You stop at the end of the parking lane or stop for a pedestrian crossing and you get hit from behind. It is usually the driver who rear ended you who is at fault.
● Backing Out Into Each Other: This is a very common accident in parking lots. Two cars opposite each other back up at the same time. In this case, both drivers are at fault both are responsible to look when backing out that no one else is also backing out.
● Backing Out Into Another Driver: backs out and hits a car driving down the main lane. The fault will usually be on the part of the person backing out of the parking lot as the person driving down the lane has the right away. However, if it can be proven that the driver was speeding then the fault is his.
● “Stealing A Spot”: A driver cuts off another driver to get the parking spot. We all have experienced waiting patiently for a parking space only to have someone whip into the space before you. The driver who pulled in front of you will be responsible for the accident in most situations.
● Pedestrian Accidents: In these cases, a driver hits a pedestrian in the parking lot. It is important that both the shoppers and drivers pay attention while walking or driving in the parking lot. In this situation fault is dependent on the circumstances.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

The Average shopper is not aware that one out of five car accidents happen in parking lots. Some simple precautions can help prevent a parking lot accident:

● Drive The Speed Limit: The maximum speed limit in a parking lot, unless otherwise posted is 15MPH.
● Avoid Parking Too Close: If you struggle to get your car to fit into the spot and can hardly make it out of the car, keep in mind that while you are in the store your car can sustain serious damage but someone slamming a car door into your car and could be long gone.
● Technology: If you have a rear backup system, use it. Listen for the alerts that warn you there is a car or person behind you.
● Do Not Cut Across The Lot: Cutting across the lot instead of using the provided lanes can leave you open to side collisions.
● Follow Posted Signage: Be it “Stop”, “No Parking” or the arrows painted on the road, comply to keep yourself safer.

What To Do After A Parking Lot Accident

If I get into a parking lot accident, even if you are driving safely, who is at fault is important because it determines if your car insurance will cover the damages to the cars or any personal injuries that may have happened. In the state of Florida, we use a comparative fault system. That means that insurance companies and courts look at the circumstances leading to an accident and split fault among the drivers. Often times insurance companies will take advantage of this system and will try to blame you for the accident.

At All Injuries Law Firm, we’re here to help. We know how the insurance companies work and can fight to protect you after a parking lot accident from being treated unfairly. No matter the circumstances of your parking lot accident, give us a call 888-393-9036. We offer a free case review and will help you go over your options to stay protected.