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Understanding Parking Lot Accidents

U park like an as*****

Despite how poorly this car parked, it’s your fault if you hit them in the parking lot (Photo credit: elgringospain)

Brace yourselves because Black Friday shopping is coming. As much as shoppers groan about lines, crowds and lack of sleep, there will be millions flooding stores across the country as soon as they shake off the tryptophan induced grogginess. Before getting to the mall, shoppers have to first find a parking spot in the garages and endless lots of asphalt ringing retail establishments. Considering the reports of trampling and brawling over deep discounts, it’s reasonable to think that fighting for a strategic parking position might cause an accident as well. 

Hitting a parked car: So, believe it or not, if you are the driver that hits a parked car it is definitely your fault. It doesn’t matter how terribly the other person parked. They could take up two spots and partially block the space in front of them, but it wouldn’t matter. As the driver, you are responsible for your actions and must remain aware of the surroundings. It’s best to leave a note if the driver isn’t there. If you leave the scene and witnesses catch your license plate, the accident could become a bigger problem for you.

Low speed collisions: Perhaps one of the most common accidents in the parking lot is a low speed rear-end crash. When you back out of a space and hit a car, it’s your fault because you must yield to traffic. In other cases, like if someone pops into reverse without realizing the person behind them is still moving forward or a simple slip off the brake pedal, then it can be more complicated. In these cases, treat it like any other accident.

Calling the cops: One of the common bits of wisdom passed around regarding car accidents is to call the cops immediately. A parking lot is private property and the cops have no jurisdiction. It’s almost impossible to block traffic from a parking lot, so unless someone is seriously injured they won’t be making the trek out to you — especially on Black Friday. Instead, file a claim with your insurance and, if you like, you can file a report on your own with the local police department by walking in.

He said, she said: Accidents in parking lots can turn into “your word against mine.” It’s difficult to prove fault unless you have witnesses or possibly security footage. Witnesses are great, but remember they must be people independent from the accident. Your passengers don’t count. Take photos for evidence and hope that someone nearby saw something. Try to get them to help you out by giving you contact information for the insurance company to follow up with later.

If you were injured in an accident, then you need someone on your side to help you get the medical care and financial support you need. Visit the Accident Attorneys’ Group today for more information about our personal injury lawyers.

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