What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Parking Lot Accident?
With all the different distractions swirling in a parking lot, it’s a minefield for collisions. Drivers are distracted by looking for a spot, while yet others are trying to pull out of spots and have only a partial view of what’s going on behind them. While these accidents generally occur at low speeds, they can still cause expensive damage to your vehicle or even neck and spinal injuries to drivers and passengers, or much more serious injuries to pedestrians. Read on for helpful information about accidents occurring in parking lots.
Right-of-way in a parking lot
Traffic generally moves slowly in parking lots, and oftentimes the rules governing which driver has the right-of-way are ignored in favor of simply figuring out how to beat the other drivers to the best spots. When you’ve been in an accident, right-of-way becomes much more important. Those drivers who were traveling in the wider thoroughfare lanes leading out to the street generally have the right to continue moving, while those backing out of spots or in smaller feeder lanes that begin and end in thoroughfares are required to yield.
Take photos immediately
If possible, take photos of the crash before moving the vehicles out of the way of other traffic. Being able to document the position of the cars at the time of the crash will offer the best evidence of how the crash occurred and who might have been at fault. If the accident occurred in a busier portion of the parking lot where it would be unsafe not to move, however, pull off to the side and take photos from a safe location. While you’re pulled over, take a moment to speak to any witnesses standing nearby who might be able to describe what happened in the accident.
If an accident is sufficiently serious or anyone is injured, you should contact the police. Most large retail centers or office buildings have a private security force on the premises, however, and local police will instead allow security to handle minor accidents. Contact security after the accident so that their officers can create an accident report.
Parking lot hit-and-run
Many at-fault drivers have hit a car parked in a lot with no owner to see them, and driven off without leaving a note that includes their name and contact information. Fortunately, many large modern parking lots are equipped with security cameras that might allow you to see the face and license plate number of the driver, allowing you to nevertheless track them down. Be sure to contact the security offices at the site of the crash as soon as possible after the accident, to ensure that film of the incident is preserved. If a driver leaves without identifying themselves with a note or contacting authorities, they could be found guilty of the offense of leaving the scene of an accident and face court penalties.
For assistance with recovering the full compensation you’re owed after a Kentucky truck or car accident, contact the skilled and determined Georgetown personal injury lawyer Jeremy M. Mattox for a consultation on your case, at 502-867-6766.