Most of us think of an automobile accident as happening on the highway, but in Chandler Arizona, parking lots are one of the most common accident sites. In a parking lot, cars are often on the move, pulling in and out of parking spaces etc. Additionally drivers are often distracted by looking for open spaces and watching pedestrian traffic. More contributing factors are that parking spaces are small and it’s common to bump a parked car while pulling in or out and drivers are often backing up, making it difficult to watch in all directions at once.
Fortunately, since drivers are supposed to be driving slowly and carefully in parking lots, accidents are most often fender benders that don’t result in serious injury. Yet a widespread source of parking lot accidents is excessive speed.
Whether the accident is relatively minor or more major, the damage to the vehicles involved can be costly to repair. In addition, any injuries incurred can potentially be serious. In most cases, parking lot accidents should be treated similarly to any other accident.
Check for Injuries
First things first, see if anyone is injured. If so call 911. Don’t attempt to move an injured person unless it is necessary for their safety.
Call for Help
Any accident resulting in over $1,000 in damages should be reported to the police. If in doubt, call. It doesn’t take a lot of damage to total $1000.
Assess Damage and Record Details
After caring for any injuries, assess the damage to all vehicles involved. Take pictures of the damage if possible. Most cell phones are equipped with cameras. Also record details about the parking lot; the weather, lighting, visibility, etc. Get the names and contact information of any available witnesses. If there are no witnesses, check with the manager of the parking area in case the accident was caught on surveillance cameras.
Details to Record for your Auto Insurance Company
Record the date, time, and location of the accident. You will also need the make, model, and year of the other vehicles involved along with their insurance information.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
You will need their name, address, phone number, and license number, along with the name of their car insurance company. Give the others involved the same information regarding yourself. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, some times parking lot accidents can result in serious injuries. If you or anyone else involved in a parking lot accident is injured you may need the counsel of a Chandler Arizona accident attorney.
In a parking lot accident it can be difficult to determine who is at fault, since the rules for a parking lot are not necessarily the same as the rules of the road. Some general rules for driving in parking lots are:
- Obey all signs in the parking lot.
- You will be found at fault if you are in an accident as a result of failing to obey a traffic sign in the parking lot.
- Wait for all vehicles to pass before pulling out of your parking space.
- When leaving a parking space, you must yield to all oncoming traffic.
- If you hit a vehicle that is legally parked you are automatically at fault.
- If you hit a pedestrian you are automatically at fault.
- If you hit a car door that someone opens, the driver who opened the door is at fault. The person opening the car door is responsible to look for oncoming traffic before opening the door.
- Cars in a lane that exits directly onto a road or highway have the right of way over a car in a side lane that runs up and down the rows of cars.
If there are no witnesses or surveillance cameras it can simply be your word against that of another driver. An experienced accident attorney will know how to investigate an accident and how to negotiate with the insurance companies.
At the Law Firm of Jason R. Smith in Chandler Arizona, we know that it’s essential that you have an accident attorney to deal with the insurance companies so that the statements you make are not twisted or used against you. That’s why we offer free consultations and you will not be charged a fee unless you collect.
We also understand how life changing an accident can be. Even if it’s just not having your car to go to work, that’s no small problem. If you have been injured you may need help in paying medical expenses along with the day to day expenses of living, especially if you are unable to work.
Our Chandler accident attorneys at The Law Firm of Jason R. Smith will fight for the compensation you deserve. In addition, we will supply legal advice and guidance to help ensure that you make the best possible decisions about your case, including whether or not to accept an insurance company’s offer.
* This blog is written by a third party and nothing in this blog should be taken to constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation and we exclude all representations, warranties, legal liability or responsibility relating to its content. The information in this blog is for general information purposes only.