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Who is Liable in a Parking Lot Accident?

Parking lots may not seem like places where crashes occur, but on the contrary, parking lot accidents are a common occurrence. While the good news is that many of these accidents do not result in serious harm, that’s not to say that it can’t happen.

Stores and shopping centers are busiest during the holiday season, so as we’re in the midst of shopping for gifts and toys for our loved ones, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re injured in a parking lot collision this year.

Common Parking Lot Accident Scenarios

As we mentioned above, parking lot accidents between two vehicles don’t usually involve serious injuries because the collisions occur at such low speeds. However, certain injuries are common and can require medical treatment and time off work, including back injuries, whiplash, and other types of neck injuries.

Some examples of parking lot accident scenarios include:

  • Two cars pulling out at the same time and colliding
  • A vehicle pulls out and hits the car passing through
  • Two vehicles collide while vying for the same parking spot
  • A vehicle failing to stop or yield as the posted signage, thus causing a collision

Right-of-Way Rules in Parking Lots

As a general rule of thumb, the drivers in the through lanes will typically have the right-of-way in a parking lot. This means that all other drivers who are entering the parking lot, turning onto the through lane, or pulling out of their parking spaces must yield.

So, for instance, if a driver is pulling out of a parking space and collides with a vehicle in the through lane (who has the right-of-way), the driver pulling out will probably be determined to be at fault. An exception to this would be if the through driver failed to yield or stop at a posted sign.

Fault determination can become a bit more difficult when both drivers involved collided while simultaneously pulling out of their parking lots. In cases such as this, fault may be determined to be shared between both drivers or video footage from the parking lot may show that one drier was stopped at the time of the collision. If only one car is moving at the time of the collision, that driver is typically found to be entirely or mostly responsible.

If you need assistance pursuing an injury claim after a parking lot accident, our firm is here to stand in your corner and fight for the recovery you need and deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley at (530) 413-0245 to speak with our Chico car accident attorneys for free today!