Parking Lot Accidents

How to Determine Fault – Parking Lot Wreck

how to determine fault in a parking lot accidentIn a typical shopping center or office building parking lot, there are numerous lanes with cars parked on both sides, plus through lanes around the lot’s perimeter, from which vehicles enter the parking lanes.

Parking Lot Right of Way

As a general rule, the vehicles in the through lanes have the right of way, and drivers approaching the through lanes from the parking lanes must yield the right of way to drivers in the through lanes.

Backing Out of Parking Space & Got Hit

So, if a driver pulls out into a through lane as he is attempting to exit a parking lane, and collides with a vehicle traveling in the through lane, the driver exiting the parking lane will probably be deemed at fault for the accident. An exception to this general rule applies when the driver of the vehicle in the through lane fails to obey a “STOP” or “YIELD” sign that gives the right of way to vehicles exiting the parking lanes.

In addition to accidents that occur in a parking lot’s through lanes and parking lanes, collisions also typically occur when two vehicles are backing out of spots on opposite sides of the same parking lane. In this scenario, fault can be difficult to determine because, under the legal doctrine of negligence (which governs fault in most car accident cases), both drivers have a duty to make sure that it’s reasonably safe to back into the lane of travel before doing so.

Parking Lot Accident Fault – BOTH BACKING UP

When one vehicle has already started to back up, the driver of the vehicle on the opposite side of the parking lane should take reasonable care to observe the other moving vehicle and wait before proceeding to exit the parking space. If the driver does not do so and strikes the other moving vehicle, he or she will likely be deemed at fault for the accident.

However, when it is unclear which vehicle began to back out first, and there is a collision in the middle of the parking lane, a determination of fault is much harder to make. Unfortunately, these instances of “simultaneous backup” seem to be the most common type of parking lane accident, and you should not assume you are at fault just because you backed into another vehicle while exiting your parking space.

Auto Accident Articles

Car Accident In Parking Lot

If you are involved in a parking lot accident, make sure you call the police, and gather information – the name of the other driver (and any passengers), his or her driver’s license number, insurance information, phone number and license plate number.  Do not get into an argument about what happened or who is at fault – or even admit if the accident was your fault. See also…auto accident attorneys.

If you or a family member of yours has been in a car accident at an intersection in Tampa or anywhere in Florida that was caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, the car crash law group of Fowkes & Hasanbasic, Accident and Insurance Lawyers, may be able to help you. You could be eligible to obtain compensation to pay your medical bills, property damage costs and lost wages, as well as for your emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Contact us today by phone or through our online form to set up a free initial consultation. Let us review the specifics of your intersection accident and explain your options for pursuing a legal claim.

Our main office is located in Trinity, FL (Pasco County), but we handle cases throughout the Tampa Bay area and all of Florida.

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