Who Could Be at Fault in a Parking Lot Crash?

parking space between two carsWith so many vehicles coming and going and parking and stopping, it can be difficult to determine who has the right of way in a parking lot. That can make it difficult to determine who was at fault for a crash. Below, learn more about the common kinds of parking lot accidents and who could potentially be at fault. Since drivers often disobey speed limits in parking lots, these crashes can be quite serious and cause significant damages.

Victims of these crashes can contact the experienced Appleton car accident lawyers at Sigman Janssen. You can learn more about possible legal options for pursuing compensation.

Types of Parking Lot Crashes that Often Occur

Determining fault for a parking lot crash is an integral step in the personal injury claims process after an accident. Some of the most common types of parking lot collisions are discussed below, along with who is generally liable in each situation:

Two Drivers Collide While Backing Out of Different Parking Spaces

In this accident, two drivers are backing out of their parking space at the same time. Since both vehicles are moving, both motorists could be held responsible. Drivers are supposed to ensure that no oncoming traffic is approaching before attempting to back out of the parking space.

Driver Backs Out of a Space into a Vehicle in the Lane of Traffic

When a driver backs out of a parking spot and collides with a vehicle that is already in the lane of traffic, he or she is usually liable, because the driver in the lane of traffic has the right-of-way.

However, there may be exceptions. For example, if the vehicle traveling down the lane of traffic was speeding, this driver may share some of the fault.

Driver Pulls Forward and Hits a Vehicle in the Lane of Traffic

If a driver pulls forward out of a parking space and collides with another motorist who is moving through the lane of traffic, the exiting driver will likely be held liable for the accident, since he or she is responsible for yielding to oncoming traffic.

Drivers Fighting for a Space Collide

Sometimes two drivers may spot a parking space at the same time and collide while trying to rush to claim it. However, since the driver making the turn across traffic is required to yield to oncoming traffic, he or she is usually at-fault for this type of accident. However, there may be other factors to consider, especially if both vehicles were speeding to get into the vacant spot.

Rear-End Crash at a Stop Sign

If a vehicle has come to a halt at a stop sign and is subsequently rear-ended by another driver who was not paying attention, the driver in the rear will almost always be at-fault. One exception where the driver in front may share some of the liability is if his or her brakes are not functioning.

Driver Hits a Pedestrian

Determining fault if a driver hits a pedestrian in a parking lot may be complicated, because both pedestrians and drivers share responsibility in maintaining safety in a parking lot. If a pedestrian was not in a designated crosswalk and failed to look before entering the roadway, he or she may share some of the liability for the accident. However, drivers are still required to watch for pedestrians. 

How You Can Reduce Your Risk of a Crash

You can reduce the risk of a crash by following these simple tips:

  • Drive slowly and cautiously
  • Look multiple times for vehicles when backing out or pulling forward out of a space
  • Take advantage of your rear back up system and camera, but look around you as well
  • Park further away where there is less competition for parking spaces
  • Avoid parking near stray carts that could damage your vehicle
  • Avoid parking too close to other vehicles

If you are involved in an accident in a parking lot, call authorities, stay at the accident scene and exchange information with the other driver. If the other driver is not in his or her vehicle at the time of the accident, leave a note with your contact details after reporting the accident to the police. If you leave the scene of the accident you are breaking the law. Additionally, take photos of the damage to the vehicle and the accident scene. If you are injured, seek medical treatment.

Call Sigman Janssen Today to Set Up a Free Consultation

If you were hurt in a parking lot crash, you can reach out to the experienced lawyers at Sigman Janssen.

Our accident lawyers in Appleton work on contingency, which means we charge nothing up front, and you will not pay us any fees unless we successfully help you recover compensation.

Feel free to contact us (877) 888-5201 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your potential legal options.