Parking lots can get very congested. While most vehicles are traveling at relatively slow speeds, serious injuries and fatalities are not out of the realm of possibility, especially when it comes to pedestrians who are hit by a negligent driver. Further, determining who is responsible for a parking lot accident—and for compensating the victim—can get complicated.
Understanding Parking Lot Accident Liability
A variety of factors determine liability in a parking lot accident. Following are some common crash scenarios and a brief description of who might be responsible for damages that occur in those situations.
- Backing out. Cars traveling in parking lot traffic lanes have the right of way. When a driver backs out of a parking space, he is responsible for doing it safely. If the driver backs up and hits another vehicle, he is generally liable for the crash. However, an exception could exist if the driver in the traffic lane was speeding, texting, or engaging in another negligent driving practice.
- Pulling forward. When a driver pulls forward out of a parking space into the traffic lane, he must yield to vehicles in the traffic lane. He will most likely be to blame if he collides with another vehicle.
- Two vehicles backing up. When two vehicles are backing out of parking spaces at the same time, both drivers have a duty to check for other vehicles before proceeding. Liability can be complicated when two vehicles collide in this way, but in many cases, the motorists will share the blame.
- Rear-end collision. A driver has a duty to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of him in a parking lot or on any roadway. If he rear-ends another vehicle, he will almost always be considered the at-fault driver.
Our Free Referral Service Is Here to Assist You
If you were involved in a parking lot accident caused by another driver, take advantage of our free doctor and attorney referral service. We are the #1 source for car accident referrals in the Twin Cities, and we can help you get the legal and medical assistance you need. Call 763-251-PAIN to speak to one of our local accident experts today, and we will get back to you within an hour.