When people imagine being involved in an auto accident, they often picture crashes taking place on busy highways. However, parking lot accidents are quite common and can often result in injuries that are serious enough to warrant a personal injury claim.
Types of Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lots are prime places for accidents to occur since cars are traveling in multiple directions and making complicated maneuvers in a relatively small space. Here is a brief look at some common accident types and the associated driver liability:
- When two cars back out of opposite parking spaces and collide, it's likely they'll be determined equally at fault. This type of accident is quite common since drivers often remember to look for cars in the parking lane and forget about the possibility of someone backing out directly behind them.
- If a driver backs out of his parking space and hits a car driving down a parking lane, he will almost always be at fault. Drivers have a responsibility to look carefully before backing up their vehicles. The only possible way to assign fault to the other driver would be if that driver was travelling at a recklessly high speed.
- If a driver pulled forward out of his parking space and collided with someone driving down the parking lane, he is generally considered at fault. The rules of the road give preference to the person driving straight, but partial fault could again be assigned to the other driver if he was traveling too fast.
- A driver turning in front of an oncoming car to snag a prime parking space will typically be found at fault. The rules of the road state that a driver needs to allow oncoming traffic time to pass before making his turn.
- Rear-end collisions are typically the fault of the driver who hits the back of another vehicle, regardless of the location of the accident. In a parking lot, drivers are expected to be vigilant about watching for other vehicles making sudden stops.
Injuries Occurring in Parking Lot Accidents
Since parking lot accidents occur at lower speeds than accidents taking place on busy roadways, injuries tend to be slightly less serious. However, they can still result in significant medical expenses or a loss of wages during the recovery period. Common injuries from parking lot accidents include:
- Airbag-related injuries such as facial fractures
Injuries from an auto accident may not be immediately apparent because the rush of adrenaline your body receives during the impact can mask symptoms. For this reason, you should always seek medical attention following any type of parking lot accident. If symptoms appear at a later date, you want documentation to establish that they were caused by the accident.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
If you've been injured due to another driver's negligence, you don't need to bear the burden of accident-related expenses on your own. You're legally entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you're partially at fault for the accident, you can still receive compensation for the damage you've suffered. However, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you had $10,000 of damages in a case where you were 50 percent at fault for having backed out of a parking space and colliding with another car backing out of the opposite space, you'd only receive $5,000 to account for your role in causing the accident.
The laws surrounding personal injury claims are quite complex, which is why it's a smart move to hire a skilled attorney to advocate for your needs. Your attorney can prepare the necessary documentation for your claim and negotiate with the at-fault driver's insurance company for the highest possible compensation.
You have one year from the time of your parking lot accident to file a personal injury suit. To learn more about how Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can assist with your case, call 318-541-8188, or complete our online contact form.