Who Takes The Blame For Car Accidents In A Parking Lot?

Law Blog

Car accidents happen in parking lots all the time. Sometimes, it's hard to say who was at fault when the accident happens. Figuring out blame becomes even more important when someone suffers an injury from the car accident. To figure it out, lawyers must answer a few questions.

How Did the Accident Happen?

A car accident can happen several ways in a parking lot.

  • Cars backing into each other
  • Pulling forward into traffic
  • Backing out into traffic
  • Collision as cars try to claim same space

In addition, accidents can also occur if cars fail to obey any of the parking lot's signage. For example, the parking lot may have stop, yield, or other directional signs.

Who Had the Right of Way?

Parking lots, much like streets, have right-of-way rules. Many people aren't aware of this fact, but these rules play a role in determining fault when there's a car accident in a parking lot.

Generally, cars on the main thoroughfare of the parking lot have the right-of-way over cars that are in the narrow feeder lanes. The thoroughfare is typically the larger, main artery of the parking lot. Feeder lanes, which usually have the parking spaces, branch off from the thoroughfare.

Whose Car Was Moving?

Moving vehicles have the right of way over parked cars. If you see a car moving towards you, even if it's moving slowly, then you should remain at a full stop in your parking spot. If both cars were moving when the accident occurred, then the court may split blame between both parties.

For example, If you're backing out of a space, another car can hit yours. Both of you were moving at the time, so the negligence doesn't belong to just one person.

Were There Signs Posted?

If the parking lot has signs, those signs take precedence over everything else. If arrows say to stay in a particular lane, then you should. If a sign says to slow for the opposite traffic, then slow down. They're there for the safety of the drivers and pedestrians. Ignoring them can show willful neglect, which can factor into a court determining fault.

Did You Speak to an Auto Accident Attorney?

Parking lot accidents that lead to injury can become tricky. Parking lots come with inherent risks, and unless there's surveillance or eyewitness accounts, it can come down to one person's word or another's. If you're in a parking lot accident and suffer an injury, speak to an attorney, like Carl L. Britt, Jr., about the situation. They can help you figure out if you have a valid case.


6 March 2017

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