Parking lots, often bustling with vehicles and pedestrians, are frequent sites of car accidents. Given Florida’s laws and insurance system, navigating the aftermath of a parking lot accident can be complex. This blog post will explore the causes of parking lot accidents, explain how liability is determined, and offer advice on how to avoid such mishaps.
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
A myriad of factors can lead to parking lot accidents. Here are some typical situations:
- Two drivers back into each other.
- A driver pulls forward out of a space into traffic.
- A driver backs out of a space and into an oncoming car.
- Two cars attempting to pull into the same space collide.
- One car rear-ends another at a stop sign.
- A car hits a pedestrian.
Such accidents often lead to costly repair bills. Accidents involving pedestrians can result in severe or even fatal injuries.
Assigning Liability in Parking Lot Accidents
Here’s a general guide on how fault is typically assigned for the previously mentioned common types of accidents.
- Two drivers backing into one another: In this case, both vehicles are moving, and neither driver has the right of way. Therefore, it is likely that fault will be shared for this type of accident unless clear and specific negligence on the part of the other driver can be demonstrated.
- A driver pulling forward into traffic: In this case, the driver in the lane of traffic has the right of way. It is therefore likely that the driver pulling out of the space will bear the majority of the fault for the accident.
- A driver backing into an oncoming car: In this scenario, the driver reversing out of the parking space may be found to be at fault.
- Two cars pulling into the same space: Typically, both drivers will share fault for this type of collision.
- A car rear-ending another at a stop sign: The driver who hits a car from behind at a stop sign is generally at fault.
- A car hits a pedestrian: Drivers are expected to keep an eye out for pedestrians in parking lots. A driver who fails to yield the right of way or doesn’t carefully watch for pedestrians will be held responsible.
However, there may be mitigating circumstances that need to be considered. For instance, if the parking lot was poorly lit, the property owner could be held liable for the accident. Similarly, if a driver was aware of a mechanical failure in their car but neglected to fix it, they could also be held accountable.
Insurance Claims Following Parking Lot Accidents
Florida is a modified comparative negligence state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the party found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident cannot recover any damages.
When accidents result in serious injuries that exceed coverage, the victim can file a claim against the at-fault driver. In this scenario, the other driver’s insurance company will try to reduce your settlement as much as possible. It’s important to have a skilled Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer representing you in negotiations with the insurance company.
Tips to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents
Preventing parking lot accidents involves being vigilant and adhering to certain guidelines.
- Adhere to posted speed limits in parking lots.
- Avoid distractions such as using your phone while driving.
- Exercise caution when reversing, as pedestrians, especially children, can be difficult to spot.
- Try to anticipate potential accident situations.
- Obey posted stop and yield signs.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers Today
Parking lot accidents in Florida are more prevalent than one might assume, and determining liability can be a complex undertaking. It’s crucial to understand the common causes of these accidents, how fault is determined, and how to prevent such incidents.
If you find yourself involved in a parking lot accident, it’s recommended to consult with a Florida personal injury attorney at Klotzman Law Firm to safeguard your interests. Contact us at 954-915-7405 for a free case review.