Parking Lot Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
When we think of places we can be injured in a car accident, we of course think of places where we drive fast-places like highways and roadways. But what about parking lots? Yes, car accidents happen in parking lots also, and in some ways, parking lots can be more dangerous than normal roadways.
Why So Dangerous?
There are a few things that may make parking lots more dangerous than other roadways. One major factor is distraction. Drivers in parking lots are in a hurry to find a space and get to their destination and while they are in this hurry, their eyes are often not on cars or signage or pedestrians—they are on spaces and finding a space.
This can lead to distracted driving, and drivers not seeing obstacles, they normally would have seen.
Another danger is simply that parking lots often do not have the traffic control devices that normal roadways have. It is not uncommon to have an intersection of two roadways in a parking lot, which have no signs, or markings on the road. It may be totally unclear which drivers have the right of way, and which do not.
Unlike normal roadways, there is no actual law that requires parking lot owners to have or provide any type of signage, or traffic control devices. There is not even any required speed limit in parking lots.
Note that the requirements to call police and make a police report are the same regardless of whether the accident happens in or outside of a parking lot.
Proving Parking Lot Accidents
This can often lead to legal disputes, when there are accidents in parking lots. You cannot just tell which driver had a red light, or stop sign, and which did not. Because most people (thankfully) don’t speed in parking lots, you can’t even tell which driver was going too fast—both drivers may have been going at a reasonable speed.
Proving parking lot accidents involve witnesses, or accident reconstructionists, which must look at the evidence available to determine who may have been at fault.
Common sense plays a role as well: which driver had the last chance to avoid the accident? Did one car have the right of way when the other car entered the intersection or roadway? Did a car try to go the “wrong way” down a parking aisle that was designed to have one way only traffic?
Pedestrians often are hit in parking lots. Unfortunately, many of us who would cross a street on foot very carefully and prudently, will just walk anywhere, even in front of cars, in parking lots. Pedestrians themselves may be distracted, holding packages, gathering kids, or looking for their parked car.
Combine this with the driver distraction in parking lots, and it becomes a recipe for disaster for pedestrians.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today about how to handle your injuries if you were injured in a parking lot.