One of every five motor vehicle accidents takes place in a parking lot, and 14% of all accident damage claims stem from these collisions. Determining liability in a parking lot accident is difficult because the lots are private property. If you are involved in such a collision, you will need to take steps to protect yourself and ensure that you receive the proper compensation.
Parking lots are the site of so many accidents because they are chaotic places. Pedestrians are shuffling in and out of their cars and sometimes carelessly walking toward the entrance of a building. At grocery and discount stores, shopping carts are often strewn about, and cyclists and skateboarders may be using the lot as well. Because so few rules seem to apply there, drivers can get careless and drive too fast or simply fail to look behind them when backing out of their spaces. Also, the angle at which cars are parked can sometimes create blind spots. Considering the amount of action that occurs in parking lots, it is a wonder even more accidents do not happen there.
Call the police and have them file a report, even if the law in your state does not require it. This report will help your insurance company determine who is liable for the accident. In some instances, the police will not take an accident report when the incident occurs on private property. In that case, be certain to write a report of your own, including even the smallest detail. Also, remember to take pictures with your phone before the vehicles are moved.
The Insurance Company
Even if the damage is minor, you should contact your insurance company, so if problems manifest later, you will have the accident on record. Since determining liability on these occasions is difficult, the two insurance companies involved might need to "fight it out" when it comes time to settle any claims. If you have physical injuries due to one of these accidents, you may need to hire an attorney to sort out all the liability issues involved.
When you drive into parking lots, be aware of just how hazardous they are. Park away from the most intense activity, if at all possible. Being far from the congestion makes it less likely that you will be involved in an accident, and walking is good for you. Triple check your mirrors before you back up, and look out for the other guy.
For more information, contact Bailey Insurance Group or a similar company.