Car Accidents in Parking Lots

Parking Lot Accidents

We have all experienced that dread of pulling into a packed parking lot and driving around in circles looking for an empty parking space. It can get confusing and hectic, with vehicles pulling in and out of spaces or in their own search for a space, as well as the pedestrians walking to and from their vehicles. All this confusion can – and often does – result in car accidents and injuries.

One of the most common causes of parking lot accidents is that drivers are not focused on what is in front of them. Instead, they are distracted by their search for a space, children or other passengers in the vehicle, or even their phones. Many drivers who are diligent in not looking at their phones while driving on roads often let their guard down when they pull into a parking lot. These distractions can lead to injuries to other drivers, vehicle passengers, and pedestrians.

How is fault determined in a parking lot crash? The same way as it is anywhere on the road. Parking lots have right-of-way rules just as streets and roads do that are required to be obeyed under the law. When a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian or other driver who has the right of way, they are liable for any injuries victims sustain because of that failure.

But how is parking lot right-of-way determined? There are two types of parking lot lanes that determine right-of-way. One type is thoroughfares and the other are feeder lanes. The lane in the parking lot that exits to the main street is referred to as the thoroughfare. These are usually the widest lanes in the lot. Feeder lanes are usually narrower and begin and end at the thoroughfare lanes.

In the majority of situations, the vehicles in the thoroughfare lanes have the right-of-way over vehicles that are in the feeder lanes.

Backing Out Accidents

The second type of accident that frequently occurs in parking lots is when a driver is backing out of their space. It is often difficult to see over surrounding vehicles whether or not the coast is clear to back out into the lane, however, it is still that driver’s responsibility to make sure there are no other vehicles or pedestrians in the way. Things become more confusing when two vehicles are backing out of their spaces at the same time and hit each other. This is when it really becomes necessary to have a skilled car accident attorney advocating for you.

If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, either as a driver or occupant in a vehicle or as a pedestrian, call a law firm to meet with a Memphis personal injury lawyer who will evaluate your case and determine what type of compensation you may be entitled to.

Thanks to Patterson Bray, for their insight into personal injury claims and parking lot accidents.