Who is Liable in a Parking Lot Accident?
Who is Liable in a Parking Lot Accident?

Parking lots might not seem like places where accidents usually occur, but car accidents in parking lots are actually relatively common. Although drivers are usually driving more slowly in parking lots, the vehicles are going in multiple directions in what are often cramped spaces.

Determining Fault for the Collision

In California, the person who caused the accident is the one who is liable for the damages that occur as a result. This is no different if the accident occurred in a parking lot. The driver who is found to be at fault for the accident is the one who is held liable, and whose insurance policy pays for the damages.

But how do you determine who was at fault? In general, vehicles in the through lanes have the right of way, and drivers in the parking lanes are expected to yield the right of way. Thus, if a collision occurs between a vehicle backing out of a parking spot and a vehicle traveling in a through lane, the driver backing out will usually be considered to be at fault. Of course, there are rare exceptions, such as when a vehicle is speeding in a through lane and clips a vehicle that is backing up at a reasonable speed.

Sometimes two cars might collide while they are both backing out of parking spaces. When this happens, both drivers are usually found equally at fault for the crash. Rear-end accidents are also common in parking lots. Like rear-end collisions anywhere else, these accidents are usually the fault of the driver who has rear-ended the vehicle in front of them.

Premises Liability

In some cases, an accident in a parking lot or parking garage could become a premises liability case. Property owners can be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their premises. Some examples of this could be failure to maintain the parking lot in a safe manner, or poor design of the parking lot which caused unreasonable risk to visitors.

Treat an accident in a parking lot like you would any other accident. Call for medical help if you are injured, and make sure you get the other driver’s information. If there are witnesses, get their information as well. Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company and see a doctor right away if you suffered any injuries, even minor ones.

“Some parking lot accident cases are cut and dry, but others can be quite complicated and require the expertise of a personal injury attorney. If you have been seriously injured in a parking lot accident, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney about your case,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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