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Can You File a Claim in a Parking Lot Car Accident?

Unfortunately, when you operate a car you are at risk of being involved in an accident. This applies to every driver on the road, even if you are one of the most cautious drivers on the planet. An accident can occur at any time, without warning, and in any place — even a parking lot.

Calling a car accident lawyer when this happens will prevent a headache for yourself later. At the very least, you can ask for advice about how to proceed.  Many will offer accident lawyers free consultation, so there will be no cost to meet with them.

Here is a few things you should know about a car accident that takes place within a parking lot:

– The injuries that motorists suffer during an accident in a parking lot are generally minor, though the damage to your vehicle may be significant. If a pedestrian is hit, this may not be the case.

– In a parking lot, determining who was at blame for the collision may be difficult since cars are moving in all directions.

– Determining who is at fault will utilize everything from where stop signs are positioned and who has the right-of-way, to security footage and the position of the damaged vehicle.

Establishing Who Is At Fault Can Be A Task

Following any automobile accident, your insurance carrier will look into the incident and attempt to determine what caused it and who was responsible. They will dialog with the drivers of the vehicles, any witnesses who were at the scene, what damage was sustained to the vehicle, and locate all evidence related to the crash to figure out who will be considered to be at fault.

To understand this further, it’s important to learn about the fundamentals of blame in a car accident. However, you want to keep in mind that there are some states that are considered no-fault.

Getting Rear-Ended in a Parking Lot

The laws of culpability in an accident where someone is rear-ended are the same regardless of where the incident takes place in that the tailing motorist is nearly always at blame. This doesn’t change when it happens in a parking lot. It is the legal responsibility of the tailing driver to maintain enough space between themselves and the car in front of them. When they fail to do this, it could be considered negligent and they would be at fault. In almost all car accident instances, negligence equates to being legally responsible.

For example, if the car in front has to make an abrupt stop to avoid hitting something or someone, the car behind him is generally held responsible if they crash into the other vehicle and rear-ends them.

Having the Right-Of-Way In A Parking Lot

There are multiple lanes where cars are parked on either side in the parking lot of a common shopping center or office, as well as lanes used for moving traffic that surround the perimeter.

Traffic approaching the through lanes from the parking lanes must cede the right of way to drivers in the through lanes. What this means is if a car pulls out into a through lane from a spot where they are parked and hits another vehicle, the driver exiting the parking spot will most likely be held responsible. If there is a STOP sign or a sign that reads “YIELD”, the right of way is now given to cars leaving parking spots.

Why Is Fault Important In An Accident In A Parking Lot?

Deciding who is at fault matters for anyone involved in a parking lot collision, because it will determine which insurance company will be paying for vehicle damage and injury if they occur.

This also matters because it may also have an effect on the at fault motorist, financially, because their annual premium could go up. If this driver is uninsured, they will be solely liable for vehicle damage, injury or any related losses that may incur. If the at-fault party only has liability insurance, they will have to pay for any damages to their own car.

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