Did you know that 20% of all crashes happen in parking lots? Thankfully, most of these are not serious incidents, given the lower speeds. However, this is not always the case, particularly when it comes to pedestrian-involved accidents.
There are some key differences in parking lot crashes that set them apart from typical motor vehicle accidents. Notably, it can be more complicated to determine who’s at fault. And, as most parking lots or garages are privately owned, you might find yourself also dealing with a property owner.
In our post today, we’ll cover some of the basic things you should know if you end up in a parking lot crash. However, feel free to call one of our injury attorneys now if you need targeted legal advice. (It’s always free to ask for a case evaluation, in case you’re wondering!)
Think of a typical busy mall or grocery store parking lot. You’re likely to see cars vying for spots, families coming and going. Sprinkle in an occasional cyclist or skateboarder, and you’ve got a lot of chaos.
Given that, there are lots of ways for collisions to occur. Here are a few:
Sometimes, a car might hit an unattended, parked car. Remember: it is illegal to strike a vehicle and flee the scene in Washington State.
You’re not the only one likely wondering: “who’s at fault for this parking lot crash?” Your car insurance company is, too. The State of Washington is an at-fault state. In other words, the person who’s deemed to be at fault is financially responsible for the other person’s car damage and injuries. Also in our State, that fault can be divided up between the drivers involved.
So, what establishes fault? Negligence does.
Simply put, negligence means that someone failed in their duty to be responsible. For instance, if a driver doesn’t check their blind spot before exiting a parking spot and strikes another vehicle, they’re negligent.
Even so, it’s not always clear who made the mistake.
Again, it’s important to determine who’s at fault, because they (or their insurance company) are liable to pay for the other driver’s damages.
You, or your car attorney if you have one, have several options for proving liability in a crash. These could include:
What happens if you are partly to blame? In that case, your settlement will be reduced by the amount you’re found to be at fault. A savvy attorney could work to negotiate down your fault percentage.
Obviously, it’s always best to prevent a collision from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips for avoiding crashes in a parking lot:
The good news is that many times crashes can be prevented by just practicing these commonsense measures.
Sometimes collisions happen – even if you’ve done everything right. And unfortunately, serious injuries and fatalities can and do happen in parking lots. Particularly, if that crash involves a pedestrian or small child.
The damages from a crash like this can be significant:
And here’s why we can’t emphasize enough – call a well-rated injury attorney. An attorney can make sure critical evidence is preserved and that you get a settlement that will compensate you for lost wages, doctor’s bills, pain, and suffering.
Have you sustained serious injuries from a crash caused by another driver in a parking lot? Or perhaps, you believe the other driver is at fault but you’re having a hard time dealing with the insurance company? Call one of our experienced Tacoma personal injury lawyers for help.
As we mentioned at the start of this post, it’s always free to speak with us for an initial case review. Plus, if we end up working together, we’ll only charge a fee if we’re able to win you a settlement. Since there’s no risk, why not give us a call right now?