Establishing liability for a car accident in a parking lot can be a challenge
Most drivers are careful when they are driving in parking lots and they drive slowly and cautiously. Despite that fact, there are a large number of accidents that occur in parking lots and garages. A few factors contribute to this, such as a large number of vehicles moving in different directions in a tight space, or the absence of defined driving lanes or signage. And then when you factor in shopping carts, children, and pedestrians it is the ideal situation for chaos. Determining liability in a parking lot accident can be a challenge; however, there are certain common accidents that occur in which liability is simple to prove.
Colliding with a Car While Backing Out
Drivers who are backing out of a parking lot are supposed to back out just a little so that they can see both sides of the parking lane and check if they are clear. When it has been determined that both sides of the parking lane are clear of any incoming vehicles, only then should the driver back out completely. A driver may fail to take this precaution and pull out without warning, causing an accident. In this situation the liability falls on the vehicle backing out, unless the other driver was driving recklessly or speeding.
If a driver pulls ahead from a parking spot and hits another vehicle that is coming down the parking lane, the liability for causing the accident may rest with the driver of the car pulling out ahead. The rules of the road give the right of way to the vehicle proceeding straight and the vehicle pulling out must wait for the path to be clear and safe.
Rear-End Collision in a Parking Lot
A driver in a parking lane comes to a halt suddenly and is hit from behind by another vehicle. Any driver who rear-ends another car is typically at fault as he or she is required to drive at a safe distance and should be prepared to stop if the car ahead stops suddenly. Parking lots are no exception to this rule and drivers should be even more careful in parking lots due to movement of so many vehicles in a confined space.
Suddenly Turning in Front of Oncoming Vehicle
A driver turns suddenly in front of an oncoming vehicle to get a parking space. When operating a motor vehicle, you are not supposed to make a left turn when there is incoming traffic from the opposite direction. You are supposed to wait until the traffic is clear and only after that, make your turn. This same law applies in parking lots as well. An accident which stems from this type of scenario is attributed to the driver of the car trying to get into a parking spot.
Two Cars Collide While Backing Out
This accident is quite common as both drivers are trying to make the same maneuver. The drivers may back out slightly and check that the parking lane on both sides is clear; however, they fail to check their rear and end up colliding with each other. Both drivers are usually found
to be in equal fault in this case.
When to Call an Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a parking lot accident, contact The law offices of Zappettini and Bradley today. We are committed to getting the maximum compensation for injury victims in Northern California. After a serious injury or the loss of a loved one in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you need to know that someone is on your team, advocating for your rights and presenting an effective case to the insurance company. Without a strong advocate, you may not receive the financial compensation you need and deserve after a car, truck, motorcycle, bike or pedestrian accident. Call us today at (916) 457-5022 or fill out our online contact form, to learn what we can do for you.