You are pulling out of a parking lot space in your car, ready to get home with your groceries, when BAM! You and another car collide. While this might feel like any other car accident, accidents in parking lots are unique in multiple ways. Not to mention, with about 20% of accidents occurring in parking lots, you should be aware of how they differ from an accident you have on the road.
1. Parking Lots Are Typically Private Property
Most of the time parking lots are owned by an adjacent business, unlike the roads you spend most of your time driving on.
2. There Is Usually Not A Police Report Done For Parking Lot Accidents
This is not to say that you shouldn’t call the police - you absolutely should! Just be aware that most of the time the police do not come out for these accidents. At best, you are probably only going to receive an exchange of information sheet and not a detailed police report like you would for an accident occurring on a government-owned road.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to make sure you collect as much evidence yourself as you can:
Take pictures of the scene before moving any vehicles, make sure you get the contact information and insurance information of the other person/people involved. Maybe even go into the business the parking lot belongs to and ask if there is any surveillance video of the parking lot that might have caught the accident on tape. This will help you down the line if/when questions of liability pop up.
Collect as much evidence as you can
3. Proving liability for a parking lot accident is typically more complicated.
As mentioned above, there are typically no police reports, so gathering evidence is imperative when a parking lot accident occurs. While the rules of the road generally apply as they would elsewhere, it is much more common in parking lot accidents for the drivers to share fault.
If the drivers share fault, whatever award you receive for the accident can be reduced by your share of the fault. It is likely in your best interest to confer with an attorney so he or she can work out the question of liability for you.
Contact an automobile accident attorney
If you have been in a parking lot accident, please reach out to us here at McKenzie and Snyder and allows us to help you navigate this confusing type of accident. Please contact us at 513-737-5180 to talk to an attorney today.
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