At some point, most of us have driven through a busy parking lot in search of finding somewhere to park our car. With the limited amount of space for driving, moving vehicles and pedestrians, and trying to figure out confusing right-of-way rules, parking lot car accidents seem to be unavoidable. Though they seem minor, they should not be taken lightly.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, around 20 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in parking lots. Though these low-speed accidents are hardly ever serious, they tend to be expensive, time-consuming, and irritating. If you have ever been in a parking lot, you know that one of the biggest hazards is other drivers. They cut across empty rows, drive way too fast, ignore signs and pavement markings and tend to have no regard for the people they are essentially endangering.
How should you deal with these drivers? Slow down. Give yourself time to react and avoid a collision – especially when turning corners and backing up. These types of incidents can be quite costly if you are rightly or wrongly deemed at fault. So, anyone involved in this kind of collision needs to take appropriate steps, including contacting a Beverly Hills car accident lawyer. There are actually several types of parking lot accidents involving vehicle-to-vehicle collision:
- Two cars heading toward the same parking space collide
- One car backing up hits another that is either moving or stationary
- Two cars back up into one another
- One car pulls into oncoming traffic
- One car hits a parked car
- One car rear-ends another at a stop sign or yield sign
These are the ones that just involve cars, these include accidents with pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, scooter operators, etc. So, what should you do if you are in an accident while driving in a parking lot? If one or more people are physically hurt, contact emergency medical responders or police. You should also be sure to get photos of the damage done to all vehicles involved and the area the accident occurred.
Getting the names and contact information of any vehicle passengers is important, as well as any witnesses. This is a good way to take note of the weather conditions at the time of the incident.
Another important thing to do is to not apologize – never admit any guilt, even if you think the car accident is your fault. While you might be dazed and trying to keep your emotions (let’s be honest, anger!) in check, but making a statement at the scene could be used against you later if a lawsuit comes up. Stick to the facts, try to be courteous, and obtain all of the information you need. If you were involved in an accident, even one in a parking lot, you should consult with an attorney to see if it’s even worth a lawsuit. At One Law Group in Beverly Hills, you can have one of our attorneys do a free evaluation of your case here.