Proving Parking Lot Accident Fault
Parking lot accidents are typically minor fender benders, but serious injuries and costly property damage may occur. Injuries in pedestrian accidents may be especially devastating. The cost of treating these injuries can add up quickly, and you may struggle to pay your bills if you cannot return to work. You may be eligible for compensation if you are able to prove parking lot accident fault on the part of the other party.
Bressman Law can help you evaluate your options, and then file a claim or lawsuit against the liable party. Call us today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What do I need to know when another car hits my vehicle in a parking lot?
Parking lot accidents can happen in a number of different ways. In many cases, you are in your car during these collisions, but there is always the chance that someone hits your vehicle while you are inside a store or other building.
According to Ohio law, all drivers involved in a crash on private property such as a parking lot must stop. If you are in the car, you should exchange information such as:
- Your name and address
- Your insurance policy information
If you are not in the car, the other driver should leave this information under your windshield wiper or another obvious place. While there is no law mandating drivers report this type of accident to police, an Ohio motorist who hits an unoccupied vehicle has 24 hours to supply this information to the owner of the damaged vehicle or to the local police.
What causes pedestrian versus car accidents?
The very nature of parking lots means pedestrians are at the mercy of motorists. Causes of parking lot accidents that involve pedestrians include:
- Reckless or distracted drivers
- Forgetting to check blind spots
- Not looking while backing up
- Poor parking lot design
- Poor parking lot maintenance
- Poor lighting or other visibility issues
Most drivers understand this and navigate parking lots at a reasonable speed, watching for people walking from their cars to the building.
When drivers do not exercise this type of caution, though, pedestrians often suffer. Even at low speeds, pedestrian accidents can lead to severe, life-altering injuries. If injuries do occur, have someone call the police and paramedics as soon as possible.
What role does fault play after an Ohio parking lot accident?
While some situations — mostly those that occur when your car is not in motion — make it easier to prove fault than others, showing the other driver acted carelessly is paramount to collecting compensation for your injuries and property damage. Winning this type of claim requires proving the four elements required for negligence:
- The driver was under a legal obligation to drive in a certain way
- The driver failed to uphold this obligation
- This failure led to a collisions, and your injuries
- You suffered actual financial damages stemming from this collision
One reason it is so important to have an Ohio car accident lawyer on your side in this type of case is because of the vast amount of evidence necessary to prove your claim. We can help you get the accident report, surveillance footage from the parking lot, any witness testimony, and any other evidence necessary to prove fault.
In addition to the evidence above, you should make notes and take photos of the scene. Note any skid marks, road markings, road conditions, position of each vehicle, exact location, and other information. Document any damage to either vehicle, and any injuries.
What happens when it is not clear who caused the crash?
In many car versus pedestrian parking lot accidents, the insurance company or attorney for the motorist will claim the pedestrian contributed to his or her own injuries, especially if the pedestrian had her phone in her hand or otherwise seemed distracted.
This also occurs in situations where two cars collided while both were in motion. Ohio’s contributory negligence laws allow you to collect reduced compensation so long as you are 50 percent or less at fault in the crash. Your lawyer will work to provide evidence that minimizes or rules out any contribution your actions made toward causing the crash.
It is also important to note that some crashes involve liable parties outside of the motorists or a pedestrian. This occurs most commonly when a parking lot is poorly designed, improperly maintained, or has misleading or confusing signage. We will evaluate all potentially liable parties in your case and ensure we hold all responsible parties accountable.
What damages can I recover after an Ohio parking lot accident?
There are a wide range of damages available after an Ohio parking lot accident. The value of your claim depends on a number of factors such as the nature and severity of your injuries, the level of care you required, how much time you missed from work and how the injuries affect your everyday life.
Some of the damages you can expect to recover compensation for after an Ohio auto accident include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Ongoing care costs
- Lost wages
- Future lost income and lost benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Who can help me with my parking lot accident case?
Bressman Law offers free case evaluations, and handles cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront, and only pay us when we reach a settlement or win compensation in your case. Call our office today at 877-538-1116 to learn more.