parking lot accident

Who is At Fault in a Parking Lot or Garage Accident?

No matter how well lit a parking lot or garage is, accidents happen. Sometimes a driver is distracted, sometimes they are in a rush and take risks they shouldn’t. No matter what the cause of a parking lot or garage accident is, you may need to fight to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damaged vehicle.

We’re here to help. If you’ve been injured or your car has been damaged in a parking lot or garage accident, contact Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815 to learn more about your options.

Failure to Yield

The majority of parking lot and garage accidents come down to a failure to yield. Laws strictly govern who must yield and when, but those laws are often ignored in a parking lot or garage.

A person in a parking spot must yield to someone who is already in the lane of traffic. That is to say, if someone is in a parking spot wanting to get out, they must wait until the lane of traffic they are entering is completely clear to do so.

This doesn’t always happen, of course. Someone may have a little bit of space and start backing out, knowing that the people in the lane of traffic are likely to stop and wait for them. However, if they do this in front of a car that does not have time to stop, they will be found at fault for the accident.

What about two cars that are backing out simultaneously? When drivers from opposite sides are backing into the same lane of traffic, they may be watching the road but fail to check for other drivers entering the lane of traffic. When this occurs, both parties are typically liable. They both have an obligation to make sure that the lane is safe to enter.

When a Car is Not Parked Properly

Liability gets a little murkier and more complicated when a car is illegally parked. If a driver is navigating a parking lot or garage and strikes a legally parked car, they are obviously liable for the damage they caused to the vehicle. However, if they strike an illegally parked vehicle, the owner of the improperly parked car could be liable.

Which Lane Has Right of Way?

The labyrinth of a parking garage or highway can make it difficult to know when it’s your turn to go and when you need to yield. A lane of traffic that has direct access to a roadway has right of way over lanes that feed into that main lane of traffic. Consider a parking garage with one long lane that runs parallel to the roadway. Drivers must travel that lane and turn right to reach the roadway entry. Several other lanes that run perpendicular to the main roadway feed into this main lane. Someone traveling in the main lane has right of way, and someone trying to enter from a feeder lane must yield.

The Property Owner’s Role

Not all accidents are caused by negligent drivers. A poorly designed or maintained parking lot or garage could also be the issue. If signs are unclear about the direction of traffic, the location of the exit, and potential blind spots, the property owner may be liable for crashes that occur. Other risk factors include low visibility caused by poor lighting, sharp turns that force drivers to turn without a clear view, unclear lane marking, and narrow lanes that make accidents inevitable.

Unfortunately, receiving compensation for parking lot and garage accidents can be challenging. Since these accidents are on private property, police may be unwilling to help or write citations. That’s why you need an attorney. They can act quickly to get security footage, analyze the scene of the crash, and build a strong case for you.

Contact Us for Help with Your Parking Lot Accident

Have you been injured in a parking lot or garage accident? We know that these accidents often come with lots of frustration and stress. Rather than fighting with the property owner or security company to get the evidence you need, let us help. We’ll fight on your behalf to get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Schedule a consultation now by calling Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815 or getting in touch with us online.

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