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Determining Fault in Parking Lot Accidents

Published on Jul 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm in Car Accidents.

Bird's eye view of parking lot

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Doing anything in a parking lot—driving, walking, steering a cart—requires your full attention. Even though all the cars and people move slowly through parking lots, an accident can happen very quickly and cause a lot of damage. Tens of thousands of crashes happen in parking lots each year, and cause hundreds of deaths, according to the National Safety Council. Parking lots are full of movement and plenty of people forget how dangerous they can be if they’re not vigilant.

When you’ve been involved in an accident in a parking lot that was caused by another person, you have the right to protect yourself from paying medical costs or for damages that weren’t your fault. A lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you recover compensation so you don’t have to worry about the financial side of things after your accident.

Who Is at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident?

Any type of accident claim relies on figuring out who was at fault. Parking lot accidents can be tricky with this because their rules aren’t exactly the same as the rules of the road, so it can be difficult to figure out who was at fault for the accident. When security cameras didn’t capture a clear picture of what happened, there are some key aspects to look at when determining fault for a parking lot accident.

The first aspect to look into is right of way. Since there are so many cars and people moving, though, it can be hard to determine who had the right of way. In general, the cars moving through the lanes have the right of way, not cars pulling into or backing out of parking spots.

Right of way also has to do with following stop signs, speed limit signs, and driving through parking spots. Similar to the rules of the road, if a driver blows through a stop sign and hits another car or a pedestrian, they are at fault because they did not have the right of way.

Another aspect to look at in parking lot accidents is negligence. Negligence is hard to prove because both drivers are supposed to be using caution and ensuring they have enough space to proceed into a parking space, through a lot, or while backing out. If another driver was speeding or texting while driving, though, your accident lawyer could prove that their negligence is what caused the accident.

Missouri Traffic Laws

As the Missouri Department of Insurance reports, parking lots are considered private property, and the owner of the parking lot is responsible for painting the lines and signs in the lot, not the government. For any other kind of car accident, Missouri is a pure comparative fault state, but most parking lot accidents end up being 50/50 comparative fault because responsibility can be so difficult to determine and most are on private property.

State law also requires any accident that injures or kills a person or causes over $500 worth of damage to be reported to the police in Missouri. Reporting the incident can help you in the long run because it ensures that the police come to document the accident. They will evaluate the accident and investigate who they believe was at fault for the accident.

Any information that you can gather from the accident can better help you through your car accident claim because it can give you more proof that the other driver was at fault for your damages and injuries. Parking lot accidents can be especially serious, even at slow speeds, so the support of a car accident lawyer can allow you to focus on healing while they take care of the legal side of things.

We will handle your case with care and will be there for you through this hard time. Contact our office today so we can discuss your options and get started with your case as soon as possible.