Parking Lot Accidents

Each year, parking lots in Georgia are home to a large number of motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents. Often times, individuals are too focused on quickly taking a parking space or the most recent deals at the store to pay sufficient attention to surrounding traffic and pedestrians. Even though parking lot accidents frequently include motor vehicles that are traveling at low speed, these types of accidents still have the potential to result in serious injuries for motor vehicle drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

How Parking Lot Accidents Occur?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that twenty percent of all motor vehicle accidents occur in parking lots. Because there are many parties that can potentially be involved in a parking lot accident including motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and store owners, determining liability when such an accident occurs can be particularly difficult. A few of the most common elements involved in parking lot accidents include: speeding, failure to keep a proper lookout while backing out of a parking space, not yielding to cars that have the right of way, drivers distracted by cell phones, improperly or inadequately marked lanes, or failure to stop or yield for pedestrians. Some of the most common ways that parking lot accidents occur include:

  • Chain Reaction Accidents. There are many events in which a collision between two vehicles in a parking lot quickly turns into a chain reaction accident. In these types of situation, determining liability can be particularly difficult.

  • Collision while Backing Up. When two motor vehicle drivers who are both backing up in a parking lot at the same time, both drivers will likely be found equally at fault because both drivers likely failed to carefully look behind their vehicle prior to backing up.

  • Collision with Oncoming Vehicle while Backing Up. If driver while collides with an oncoming vehicle while backing up, the driver backing up will likely be found at fault. In the case of many other rear-end collisions, these accidents are often viewed as the fault of the driver who was backing up.

  • A Pedestrian is Injured. If a pedestrian is injured in a parking lot, the parking lot owner might be responsible for leaving the parking lot in a condition that could cause injuries. A motor vehicle who strikes a pedestrian in a parking lot will also likely be found liable unless the pedestrian was partially responsible for causing the accident.

  • Two Drivers Try for the Same Parking Space. When two motor vehicle driver collide while trying to both obtain the same parking space, both motor vehicle drivers are likely to be found at fault.

Ways to Respond to a Parking Lot Accident

If you are involved in a parking lot accident in Georgia, there are several important that individuals remember to take after the accident has occurred, which include the following:

  • Contact the Necessary Parties. After a parking lot accident occurs, individuals should contact medical assistance if anyone injured, law enforcement if there are significant injuries or property damage, a parking lot security guard if one is available, and any applicable car insurance companies. Parking lot accidents frequently cause injuries that might not be immediately noticeable, which makes it a good for individuals to obtain medical assistance even if the individual does not believe that they were seriously injured.

  • Move the Car. Individual should move motor vehicles to a safe location if at all possible.

  • Understand How Liability is Decided. When parking lot accidents occur, responsibility for the accident is often determined by analyzing several factors including: whether any traffic laws were violated, what information is contained within a police report, and what physical evidence is left at the scene of the accident including scratches and skid-marks.

  • Write Down Some Details. Individuals involved in a parking lot accident should write down several key details including: the date, the time, the location of the accident, weather conditions, parking lot conditions, the names of any companies that use the parking lot, and contact information for any witnesses.

Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Accidents

There are several recommended steps that motorists are advised to take in order to avoid being involved in a parking lot accident. These recommendations include the following:

  • Back Into Parking Spaces. Motor vehicle drivers are advised to back into parking spaces because doing so greatly reduces the risk that a driver will strike a pedestrian or other motor vehicle when leaving the parking lot.

  • Exercise Courtesy while Driving. While parking lots frequently contain a large number of drivers and pedestrians, parking lots also frequently lack adequate signage. By driving in a way that is polite and patient in respect to other drivers, motorists can avoid being involved in an accident. As a result, motor vehicle drivers should be sure to use traffic signals and headlights when these measures are appropriate.

  • Maintain Good Visibility. By avoiding over packing a car with recently purchased packages, drivers can make sure that they see a sufficient amount of their surroundings in the parking lot. If an individual purchases a large item, it might be a better idea to have the store deliver this package rather than risk having visibility obscured by the package.

  • Never Drive Distracted or Fatigued. By avoiding driving distracted or fatigued, individuals are less likely to operate a motor vehicle in a way that can cause accidents.

  • Shop During off Hours. By shopping during off hours, motorists will be using parking lots at the time they were least crowded which reduces the risk of an accident occurring.

  • Slow Down. Driving too quickly can significantly increase a motor vehicle’s risk of being involved in an accident. Instead, motorists should drive slowly, particularly in parking lots.

Retain the Services of a Skilled Georgia Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot, it is a wise idea to consult with an experienced attorney at The Angell Law Firm today. Our skilled legal counsel will fight tirelessly by reviewing video surveillance, witness statements, photographs, and expert opinions to make sure that you receive the compensation that you deserve including medical bills, lost wages, and emotional damages.