If you think that parking lots are quite different from roads when it comes to accidents, you have probably never been involved in an accident in one. Even though cars drive much slower through parking lots than on the road, this does not mean that nothing can happen there. Here are just some common examples of parking lot accidents:
- Hit and run
- Reversing out of a parking space and hitting a moving car
- Hitting a pedestrian
- Cars crash while fighting over a single parking spot
- Moving car hits a legally parked vehicle
You get the picture. Anything can happen, and it does. That is why it is so important for you to be aware of all the possibilities and take extra care when driving through parking lots. Other recommendations are:
- As you drive in, avoid distracted driving because you are scanning the lot looking for a parking space
- When parking, avoid being sandwiched between two larger vehicles that will make it hard for you to pull out without hitting passing vehicles or pedestrians
- As you reach your car after you’re done shopping, notice if there are any pedestrians around or cars with trunks open, drive carefully around them
- Pay attention to drivers around you and know the right-of-way rules
If you have had an accident in a parking lot, here are some suggestions as to what not to do:
- Don’t lose your temper and start recriminating the other driver, you accomplish nothing by this
- Don’t apologize, it may be interpreted as admitting you were at fault
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident, there are severe penalties for that
- Don’t ignore your injuries, if you have any, and get medical attention as soon as possible
- If the other driver or pedestrians are injured, don’t ignore them, and do call 911
- Don’t leave the vehicles in the middle of a traffic lane, move them to the side to allow others to drive through
Are police allowed to deal with accidents in parking lots?
Yes, they are. Even though the lot may not be public property, police officers are allowed to enforce the laws regarding negligent and distracted driving, reckless driving, vehicular homicide, assault, hit and run and other issues in parking lots.
However, in some cases, they may not respond to an accident that occurred on private property. That’s why it may end up being up to you to know what to do in order not to jeopardize your personal injury claim, should you need to file one.
Have you been in an accident in a parking lot?
Here is what to do, no matter if police officers show up or they don’t:
- If there is no law enforcement present, contact the store’s manager and file an accident report with them
- Get insurance information from the other driver
- Take plenty of pictures of the damage done to your car
- Obtain the security camera video footage from cameras in the lot, it’s important to have footage of the collision showing precisely what happened
- If there is no official accident report, file it online at the latest four days after it happened
If you suffered an accident in a parking lot car accident attorneys in Orlando can help you with your claim. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service, reach out to them today.