When a car accident happens in a parking lot in Augusta, most people think that it is a minor event that can be shrugged off. However, there are times where the repercussions of a parking lot crash are actually quite severe – especially when the person who was hit was a pedestrian. In these cases, determining who was at fault for the crash, and therefore who was liable and who should have to compensate the victims, becomes essential.
The Hadden Law Firm can help victims who have been hurt in a parking lot accident in Augusta by fighting for their right to receive the compensation they need to make a full recovery.
What are Parking Lot Accidents?
A parking lot accident is just a car accident that happens in a parking lot. These accidents tend to involve:
- Multiple vehicles, or a single vehicle and a pedestrian
- Low speeds
- Little property damage
- Private property
There are six common ways for them to happen:
- Rear-end collision – these accidents happen when one car hits another vehicle from behind, often when the leading vehicle has stopped at a stop sign or to let a pedestrian cross or to pull into a parking space;
- Double rear-end collision – these accidents involve two vehicle backing out of a parking space and hitting each other;
- A head-on collision – usually these involve two vehicle trying to “race” each other for an available parking space in a crowded lot;
- Pulling out of a space and into a car – these involve a car that was parked but is now leaving their space, driving or backing into the lane of traffic and hitting a vehicle in the lane;
- Pulling out of a space and into a pedestrian – the parked car leaves its spot, but instead of hitting another vehicle in the lane of traffic, it hits a pedestrian; and
- Hitting a parked car – one driver drives his or her car into a vehicle that is stopped and parked, whether legally or illegally, in the lot.
Common Injuries in a Parking Lot Accident
The injuries that commonly occur when in a parking lot accident depend, in large part, on whether the crash involved only motor vehicles or whether a pedestrian was hurt.
If everyone involved in the crash was protected inside a vehicle, then the common repercussions are often limited to only:
- Property damage
- Pulled muscles
- Sprains and strains
- Minor whiplash
If a pedestrian was hit, however, there will likely be less in the way of property damage, but the pedestrian's personal injuries are likely to be drastically different and usually more severe:
- Broken bones, especially in the lower extremities
- Knee injuries, including torn or strained ligaments
- Broken or fractured wrists, usually from the victim trying to break their fall
- Road rash
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, often from an impact with the pavement or the vehicle
Who is Liable for a Parking Lot Accident?
The right-of-way rules can be more complicated in parking lots than they are on the road. This is especially true when you have compact lots that use a non-traditional layout to maximize the number of spaces in the lot.
There are, however, a few rules of thumb for assigning liability for a parking lot crash:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles
- Moving cars are liable for hitting stationary cars
- Vehicles in the traffic lane have the right-of-way over vehicles exiting a parking space and merging into the lane
However, these are just general rules. There are numerous exceptions that can shift liability for a crash or at least reduce the percentage of fault. For example:
- A driver carefully pulls out of a parking space but gets hit by a speeding vehicle in the traffic lane
- A pedestrian runs across the traffic lane without looking for oncoming vehicles
- A driver collides with a vehicle that is parked illegally in the traffic lane
Damages from a Parking Lot Accident
Assigning responsibility for a parking lot accident is important because the responsible party will be held liable for the damages sustained in the crash. These include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care for severe injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Augusta Personal Injury Lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm
Parking lot accidents are often minor affairs. However, it is not uncommon for the repercussions to be far more severe. When they are, proving that someone else was liable for the collision is essential if you want to recover the compensation that you deserve. The personal injury lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm can help. Contact them online to get started on your case today.