Who’s at Fault in a Parking Lot Crash?
Even though most drivers drive more slowly in parking lots, accidents still happen. In particular, we are at greater risk of accidents in full parking lots with cars backing out of parking spaces. Cars backing out of a parking space are dealing with blind spots while cars driving through parking lanes may not notice cars that are trying to back out. If you were injured in a crash involving a car backing out of a parking space, you may be wondering: who’s at fault in a parking lot crash?
Who’s at Fault in a Parking Lot Crash?
When it comes to determining fault in car accidents, there are typically many factors taken into consideration such as did one driver break a traffic rule before the accident and who had the right of way? In certain kinds of accidents, it’s more common for one party to be held responsible than the other. For example, it is most common for the vehicle who rear-ended the car in front of them to be responsible for the accident. When it comes to collisions involving a car driving in a parking lot and a vehicle backing out of a parking space, it is typically the driver who was backing out of the parking space who is at fault. The reason for this is because the driver who was driving in the parking lane has the right of way and the driver who is attempting to back out of a spot is responsible for waiting until it is clear to reverse.
Simultaneous backup accidents
One of the exceptions to this rule is if both drivers were backing up at the same time and crashed into each other. Simultaneous backup accidents are a common type of parking lane accident. In situations where it is unclear who started backing out first, it can be a little more difficult to assign fault.
If you were involved in a simultaneous backup accident, it is important to contact a local car accident lawyer for help. The injury attorney will assess the details of the crash and work on your behalf to fight for a fair settlement. Never assume or admit you are at fault at the scene of the accident or to the at-fault insurance adjuster!
Why does fault matter in parking lot accidents?
No matter what type of motor vehicle accident, car insurance companies will want to determine fault in the accident so they know whether to cover damage for any personal injuries or property – and how much.
Washington State is a comparative fault state, which means that fault can be shared in a personal injury case. In contributory fault law, you may only be awarded damages proportional to the percentage of fault contributed by the other party and nothing for the amount of fault that you contributed to the accident. If you are seeking a car insurance settlement from the other driver’s insurance policy, it’s necessary for fault to be completely or at least partially assigned to the other driver.
One of the ways that insurance companies assign blame for a car accident is based off of police reports filed for the accident. Police may not respond to a parking lot accident because it is on private property, which makes eye-witness accounts that much more important in this type of accident. If there is a witness to the accident, take down their name and phone number so they can be reached and then call your insurance company to report the accident.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!