Although parking lot crashes are rarely high-speed, they do happen – a lot of them.
Moreover, parking lot accidents often result in expensive repair bills and insurance increases. A parking lot crash can also cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially if pedestrians are involved.
Below we’re going to break down how parking lot auto accidents happen, and how fault is determined. If you have been involved in a parking lot crash and are concerned about recovering damages for your car or personal injuries, we recommend consulting with a Florida personal injury attorney.
How Do Florida Parking Lot Crashes Happen?
In parking lots, a lot of activity is occurring in a relatively small space. Further, traffic patterns vary in different parking lots, and many pedestrians are present. Together, these factors make parking lot accidents very common.
Two drivers back into one another. This happens when both cars are in reverse and back into each other.
A driver pulls forward out of a space and into the lane or traffic. This happens when a driver pulls forward out of a space, and into oncoming traffic. Generally, the oncoming car collides with the front or side of the car pulling out.
A driver backs out of a space and into an oncoming car. This occurs when a driver backs out of a parking space and into oncoming traffic. The backing car may collide with oncoming traffic, or the oncoming car may hit the side of the car backing out.
Two cars pulling into the same space collide. This happens when two cars are rushing to get a parking space, and they collide.
One car rear-ends another at a stop sign. This occurs when one car is stopped at a stop sign or exit, and a moving car rear-ends the stopped car.
How Is Fault Determined in Florida Parking Lot Crashes?
If a parking lot crash involves serious personal injury, it will be important to determine who is at fault. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, responsibility comes into play when accidents result in serious injuries that exceed PIP coverage.
Let’s review who is generally at fault for the five common types of accidents:
Two drivers backing into one another. In this case, both cars are moving, and neither driver has the right of way. Further, both drivers are responsible for looking prior to backing up. Therefore, it is likely that fault will be shared for this type of accident unless you can show clear and specific negligence on the part of the other driver.
A driver pulling forward into traffic. In this case, both cars are moving, but 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 be at majority fault for the accident.
A driver backing into an oncoming car. In this type of accident, both cars are moving, but the driver in the traffic lane has the right of way. Further, the driver backing out is required to wait until it is safe to back out. Therefore, the car backing out will likely be at majority fault.
Two cars pulling into the same space. In this case, both cars are moving, and both drivers are likely to be held at some fault. However, the important factor in determining fault here is who had the right-of-way. Similar to a roadway, a driver making a turn into oncoming traffic must yield to oncoming cars. Therefore, the driver turning left will likely be held at majority fault for the accident. However, this can vary. For example, if the car turning right made a wide right turn into oncoming traffic.
A car rear-ending another at a stop sign. In this case, only one car is moving, so the driver who rear-ends the other car is almost always at fault.
Because of the preconceived notions around fault in these types of accidents, it becomes even more important to provide clear evidence of negligence if you were harmed by the improper behavior of another.
The bottom line is that most parking lot accidents are preventable if you remain alert, buy yourself time to act, expect pedestrians to do things such as dart in front of cars, and distance yourself from other vehicles in the parking lot.
Because police reports are rarely filed in a parking lot accident, it will be of paramount importance to know what to do after an accident. You should always get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. We also recommend collecting the contact information of any witnesses so that negligence can be proven if necessary.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Buy a car? Need minimum liability required. Buy a house? Got to have a homeowners’ policy. Living and breathing? Government says you better have health coverage or else. So why does it seem then that those insurance companies that we hire and pay regular monthly premiums to continue to fight so hard against acting in [..]
In June 2018, a horrific crash was caught on camera near Orlando. In this very dramatic footage, the vehicle is seen drifting into a concrete barrier at the toll plaza on the Florida Turnpike near St. Cloud. The impact ejects one of the four passengers onboard out through the windshield and sends him flying for [..]
If you recently suffered injuries from night out on the town, you know that slip and fall injuries are no joke. People have received millions of dollars in compensation after slipping and falling at a store or a bar. Maybe you want to pursue one of these lawsuits yourself. After all, the medical bills are [..]
If you have recently suffered a personal injury and are currently considering filing a claim, you are likely asking yourself whether the effort will be worth your time. Frankly, the answer to that question depends on what the incident has cost you. In a personal injury case, when a judge or jury finds there is [..]
No turn signals, sudden stops, swerving – driving on the road in Florida can feel like an accident waiting to happen. Even if you’ve lived in the state your whole life, it can be incredibly frustrating to drive here. Worse, the blame is shared between retirees, tourists, and just downright bad drivers. Unfortunately, it appears [..]
As a homeowner, you pay your premium for homeowner’s insurance trusting that your insurer will do right by you in the event that the worst happens. That they will pay out for covered damages. This is known as acting in good faith. Although most insurers operate ethically and meet their obligations to policyholders, it’s also [..]
When Harry Davila and his children first came to us in September of 2018, they were heartbroken and deep in grief. Harry had lost his dear wife Mary, and his children had lost their beloved mother. However, their sorrow not only came from the fact that they lost her to breast cancer earlier that month, [..]
This may be obvious, but if you are at fault in a car crash, you can’t receive compensation from anyone. However, you may be too quick to blame yourself if your brakes failed and caused the crash. There are a number of parties who could potentially be at fault for your car accident, so don’t [..]
Are you traveling with your children over spring break? Use these tips to keep your kids safe while you enjoy your family vacation. Prepping for Your Trip Since a trip to the emergency room is needed in a shocking 25 percent of all family vacations, it’s wise to prepare ahead of time for family safety. [..]
Did your child get a new bike over the holidays? Are they begging you to let them bike to school… but you’re feeling hesitant about it? Your worries are understandable. Florida can be a dangerous place for cyclists, and kids aren’t exactly known for being careful. However, children need to have some sense of autonomy, [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
Car accidents can result in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. How is it decided who will have to pay for these damages and bills? In Florida, it usually starts with personal injury protection (PIP). If you experience damages that add up to less than [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
School is out, but that doesn’t mean your child has to be stuck at home for the summer with no structure and nothing to do. Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active, supervised, and having fun – while also allowing them to branch out. However, summer camps come with a lot [..]
This law firm helped me with my car accident case and helped me to get the most of the medical benefits that were needed after the accident, and gave me fair and helpful expectations on what I would recieve back for the pain and suffering after the accident.