Who is at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident in Pennsylvania?
Despite the fact that you may be traveling very slowly in a parking lot, an auto accident that causes injuries can happen. Many times, this type of car accident occurs because people are traveling in multiple directions, are distracted by things in their car or are too cramped in their vehicle to maneuver easily due to heavy coats or gloves.
There may also be issues with the striping of the parking lot so that lines are not clearly marked. Our Philadelphia auto accident attorneys say it can be difficult to prove who is at fault in many accidents that occur in parking lots.
Common Parking Lot Accidents
The most common type of auto accident in a parking lot is when a driver is backing out of a space and strikes another parked or moving vehicle. In some cases, both vehicles may be backing out of a space and fail to notice each other.
Accidents that cause damage may occur when someone opens their door into another vehicle, causing a dent or scratch in the paint. Pedestrian accidents are also common in parking lots, especially if they are walking between cars or are not paying attention. Pedestrian accidents account for more serious injuries than accidents in parking lots involving two cars.
Determining Fault in a Parking Lot Accident
In some cases, fault may be obvious in a car accident in a parking lot. If you are backing out of a space and strike another vehicle, whether that vehicle is moving or stationary, you will more than likely be found at fault.
If both you and the other driver were backing out of a space, no fault may be found. If you strike a vehicle that is legally parked, whether you are moving or open your door into it, you will probably be found at fault. If you do not make an effort to locate the owner of the car, you could be charged with a hit-and-run.
In the case of a pedestrian accident, you are more than likely to be found at fault unless the pedestrian was negligent in some way, such as stepping into the path of your car or ignoring safety measures.
If You’re Involved in a Parking Lot Accident
If you are involved in an auto accident in a parking lot, you should contact local law enforcement in order to file a report. Be sure to get the names and contact information for witnesses to supply to your insurance company.
If the car is unoccupied, you should enter the place of business and ask them to announce the registration number, make and model of the vehicle so that you can speak with the owner. If there are multiple businesses at the location, such as a mall or shopping center, you can leave your own contact information on the windshield of the vehicle so you and the other driver can reach out to your insurance companies.
Avoiding Accidents in Parking Lots
The best way to avoid an accident in a parking lot is to be cautious. Drive slowly and more carefully than you would on a regular roadway. Always back out of spaces slowly and be aware of vehicles on either side of your own as well as those that may be traveling through the lot. Be aware of pedestrians, especially small children, who may dart in front of your vehicle.
If you have been involved in an accident in a parking lot, you should discuss the circumstances of your case with the Philadelphia auto accident attorneys at Lundy Law. We will review the circumstances of your case and work with your insurance company to determine who is responsible for your damages. Contact us today by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or complete the simple contact form.