Parking Lot Accident Lawyers in TexasLast updated on: October 16, 2019
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The average person who drives a car or who rides as a passenger in one is probably coming in and out of a parking lot at least once a day. A lot of us consider the potential for a car accident on the roads because of high speeds and high volume of other cars, but not a lot of people stop to think about how dangerous a parking lot can become. According to the National Safety Council, one in every five motor vehicle collisions happens in a parking lot.
After being involved in a parking lot accident, there are a lot of questions about damage, injuries, who is liable, and who has to pay. Having an experienced attorney on your side may be able to help you navigate these questions and the other complexities of the legal process. Additionally, having an attorney may be able to put you in a better position to seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
Parking Lot Right-of-Way
Not all areas of a parking lot are created equal. Just like there are right-of-way rules on the actual road, there a right-of-way rules in a parking lot. Essentially, there are two main areas of a parking lot you need to be concerned with. First, there are the parking lanes. This is the drivable area in between the parking spaces themselves. Second, there are the through lanes. The through lanes are the drivable lanes that surround the perimeter of a parking lot before you turn into a row of parking spaces. The general rule is that those in the through lane have the general right-of-way unless there is a sign indicating they should yield or stop for the parking lanes.
Further, when there are pedestrians in a parking lot, pedestrians always have the right-of-way. It is the job of a vehicle to yield to the right-of-way of any pedestrians moving through the lot.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
There are certain causes of parking lot accidents that occur more often than others. These causes include:
Backing up into another car
This often happens when people are backing out or backing into a parking space and hit either a parked or moving car around them.
Turning without paying attention
A lot of drivers will turn out into an area of the parking lot without paying close attention to who may be around them.
Driving too fast
Accidents happen when drivers fail to lower their speed in parking lots congested with other cars and pedestrians.
Poor pavement conditions
Sometimes factors outside our control such as potholes or cracked pavement affect our ability to drive safely through a parking lot.
Texting, eating, changing the radio, and other distractions can cause drivers to lose sight of where they are going and lead to severe collisions.
Failure to abide by signs
It is always important to pay attention to STOP signs, YIELD signs, and any other postings.
Failure to yield to the right-of-way of other cars or pedestrians
Pedestrians always have the right-of-way followed by lanes outside the perimeter of parking spaces.
Common Injuries from Parking Lot Accidents
Parties involved in parking lot accidents may include drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. While everyone involved in an accident may be susceptible to injuries, pedestrians are at significantly more risk, and often face far more severe injuries.
A common list of the injuries that may occur to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries such as strains
- Back injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Puncture wounds from debris or car parts
- Muscle soreness, especially for drivers or passengers
- Emotional trauma
How to Avoid Parking Lot Accidents
Where an accident can be avoided, it should. Parking lot accidents are almost always preventable if you just follow some simple tips.
Learn The Rules Surrounding The Parking Lot Right-Of-Way
You can avoid a lot of parking lot collisions by knowing who is permitted to turn or drive before you. If they have the right-of-way, many drivers will assume that you will yield to them, and not stop as they pass through your direction of travel.
Keep An Eye Out For Important STOP And YIELD Signs
Often times, signs are posted because parking lot owners know the types of accidents that occur in their lots, where they occur and are trying to help you avoid them. Read signs and follow them accordingly. Lastly, park strategically.
Avoid Areas With High Pedestrian Traffic Or Large Amounts Of Already Parked Vehicles
Try to avoid putting yourself in situations that may increase the potential for an accident.
What to do After a Parking Lot Accident
1. Don’t Underestimate Your Injuries
Even when something seems innocuous, it may be indicative of a more serious injury. If you have any injury that does not subside quickly, then it is in your best interest to visit a doctor for an examination. Taking care of your health and safety is always the first and most important step you can take after a parking lot accident.
2. File a Police Report
Never hesitate to contact the police when you have been involved in an accident, no matter how minor or trivial it may seem. Contacting the police and having them create an official police report is a very important piece of evidence when you are seeking compensation for your injuries later on.
3. Document the Scene
Even when there is an official police report, it is always helpful to have your own documentation. Take pictures of your injuries, your property damage, the area where the collision occurred, and anything else you think could be helpful.
4. Contact an Attorney
Zinda Law Group believes that everyone should have access to quality representation. It is 100% free for you to contact us today for an initial case consultation to see how we may be able to help you with your claim.
5. Contact your Insurance
Contact your insurance to let them know that you have been involved in a parking lot accident as soon as possible. Provide them with the relevant information they need in order to open a claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Parking Lot Accident?
Having a lawyer is never a requirement per se. However, there are certain circumstances that may warrant you seriously wanting one or even need one in order to protect your best interests. The questions below are a few of the things you may want to ask yourself when trying to consider whether you want to hire an attorney.
Are you going to require treatment for your injuries?
If you need treatment for your injuries, you will have medical bills and other costs to pay for. Additionally, the process of medical treatment can be emotionally taxing and disruptive to your everyday life. Having an experienced attorney may put you in a better position to be reimbursed for things such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the responsible party.
Was a pedestrian involved?
If a pedestrian was involved in your accident, this might make your claim harder to fight. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way, and you are likely to be deemed responsible. If you have injuries yourself or believe you aren’t fully responsible, you will want an attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance companies about liability and compensation.
Were you partially responsible?
Who is at fault is always an important determination because it affects the compensation you may be entitled to. Your car insurance policy coverage may be affected if you are at fault or partially at fault. Our accident lawyers deal with insurance companies everyday and may be able to help you figure out if you are partially at fault and what you can do to potentially mitigate the consequences.
Were there circumstances outside your control that caused the accident?
Sometimes, there are conditions of the parking lot that led to your accident. These conditions may include poor signage or pavement defects. If this is the case, you may have a claim against the parking lot owner or another third party. This adds a layer of complexity to your claim that will be difficult to navigate on your own.
Contact Zinda Law Group for Help
Whether you were a driver, passenger, or pedestrian at the time of the accident, if you are suffering from an injury, we may be able to help. In cases of severe injury, recovery times can be long and difficult. When medical bills begin to accumulate and other costs associated with recovery pose a threat to a victim’s financial security, it may be time to seek compensation from the party at fault with the help of a Personal Injury Attorney. At Zinda Law Group PLLC, our lawyers may help you understand your rights as an accident victim, and can work with you to build a strong case.
For a free consultation, call us today at 512 246 2224. If we do not win your case, you will not owe us anything.
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