It might not seem like it, but parking lots can be dangerous places. The often small space of a parking lot can be quickly filled with any number of hazards such as pedestrians (some of whom are very distracted and not paying attention), other vehicles (some of whom are very distracted and not paying attention), poorly marked travel lanes and obstructions like shopping carts, curbs, etc. With so much going on in such a small area, accidents can happen all too easily. While parking lot accidents often occur at low speed, they can still lead to significant property damages and injury. Pedestrians, in particular, are at risk of sustaining devastating injuries in parking lot accidents.
Parking Lot Accidents
There are several common types of parking lot accidents and, most of the time, liability is pretty easy to establish. Mainly, to establish liability in parking lot accidents, you look to whether a vehicle was stopped or moving and who had the right-of-way. If only one car involved in the accident was moving, it will usually be held responsible for the accident. If both cars were moving at the time of the accident, the driver who did not respect the right of way of the other vehicle will usually be held liable for the accident. Other factors, however, will come into play in establishing liability, including whether a vehicle was speeding or violating traffic signs or signals.
One common type of parking lot accident is when two drivers back out at the same time and, essentially, rear-end each other. Drivers have a responsibility to check behind them before backing out. Because both drivers involved had this responsibility, it is likely that, without other circumstances present, both will share in the liability of causing the accident. Drivers will also sometimes back out of spaces into a pedestrian behind them. This can be a particularly devastating situation as even a car backing out slowly can cause serious injury to a pedestrian. In this scenario, it is likely that the driver of the vehicle backing out will be found to be at fault for the accident.
It is also common that a driver will pull out of a parking space into traffic or back out of a parking space into an oncoming vehicle. In both of these cases, the oncoming driver has the right of way. This means that the driver backing out of the parking spot is most likely going to be found at fault for causing the accident.
To avoid being involved in a parking lot accident, always travel at a reduced speed in parking lots. Check your side mirrors to help ensure that you have minimized your blind spots. Pedestrians, in particular, can be difficult to see! Make use of your vehicle’s safety features, such as motion sensors and backup cameras when you are leaving a parking space. Be clear with other drivers about your intentions by properly signaling. Finally, comply with parking lot signs and always check more than once for pedestrians, other vehicles, and other things before you back up.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in a parking lot accident? The trusted personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy are here for you. Contact us today.