A parking lot is a dangerous location for both motorists and pedestrians. Cars and other vehicles are pulling in and out of spots, the attention of drivers is diverted, parked vehicles make it difficult to see what is going on around them, directions related to the flow of traffic are often inadequate, and designated travel lanes are not always clearly marked. All these factors result in the “perfect storm” for auto accidents. Some information here to help navigate parking lots safely, for both pedestrians and drivers, can be found here.
Auto Accidents in Parking Lots Usually Occur on Private Property
The majority of parking lots are found on private property. Also, the police officers who respond to these auto accidents usually don’t have the ability to issue a traffic citation for moving violations that led to the collision.
The responding police officers understand that they are not able to issue citations, which is why they may describe the incident as being “not reportable.” If the collision is designated in this way, then the police will not create an official report that documents the incident properly. For those who are injured in a parking lot because of auto accidents, this can cause issues because all the information that a police report would contain is not there. To avoid an issue down the road, make sure to do the following:
- Record the residential address and name of the at-fault individual
- If the vehicle is owned by someone else other than the driver, write their name down, too
- Get the name of the insurance company for the at-fault party or the vehicle’s owner
- Take pictures of markings on the road or signage that direct traffic
Insurance Companies will Assume it Was a Low Speed Auto Accident
Unlike a major highway or road, most people who are driving in parking lots are not going to be traveling at a high speed. In fact, in the majority of these situations, a vehicle will be backing out of a parking space, but people may be seriously injured in this type of auto accident. In many cases, the insurance carrier will deny a claim or make a very low settlement offer because the vehicles involved were moving so slowly when the accident occurred. To make sure that the accident and all resulting injuries are documented properly, be sure to do the following:
- Take pictures of any property damage that took place during the auto accident
- Take photos of your vehicle, as well as the vehicle of the at-fault person
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Seek treatment right away for injuries to have documentation from a doctor about what injuries you suffered
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney for Auto Accidents
If you are hurt in an auto accident that took place in a parking lot, you need to take action right away and contact an attorney. They will be able to review the facts of the case and help ensure you receive a fair settlement offer. If you need help with an auto accident, you can contact the attorneys from The McDaniel Law Group, PLLC by calling 202-331-0793. Having legal representation is the best way to get the results from the case that you want and need.