Most people tend to think that car accidents happen more on busy highways than anywhere else and there is some truth in this, at least some of the worst accidents happen on busy highways and freeways as most traffic is moving at higher speeds. The only consolation is that most drivers tend to concentrate more when they are driving on busy highways and freeways.
What tends to be overlooked are car accidents involving both occupants and pedestrians that happen in familiar places like parking lots. About 15% of all accidents that involve vehicle damage occur in parking lots. Serious injuries are rare, at least for those fortunate enough to be occupants of cars that are involved in an accident. The people who are more likely to be hurt are pedestrians, especially children. About 22% of all traffic related child injuries occur in parking lots.
Parking lot accidents are more common than one might imagine because drivers tend to concentrate more on finding a vacant parking space and less on avoiding other vehicles or pedestrians. The likelihood of parking lot accidents is increased when:
- the environment is dimly lit, i.e. in an underground lot, or after dark in winter;
- the lot is crowded, e.g. on a weekend or after work in shopping mall or supermarket parking lots;
- cars are backing out of a space and their drivers are concentrating on avoiding vehicles;
- vehicles have a blind spot;
- the parking lot is badly designed, making visibility harder;
- drivers are under the influence of alcohol, or drugs;
- drivers are tired or distracted.
Avoiding injuries in a parking lot
If you are using a parking lot, don’t assume it is a safe place to drive around or walk through. Be very careful of any vehicles backing out of parking spaces. If you get out of your vehicle and intend walking to a mall, store or office, use the marked thoroughfares that are available for pedestrians rather than taking a short cut across the lot. If you have kids with you, make sure they are under your control and don’t wander away from your sight.
If you are maneuvering yourself around a parking lot, assume that someone, such as a child could dash out in front of you. Look out for other cars backing out. Make sure you have your headlights on in an underground parking lot. Look all around you when backing out of a parking space, even if you have a reversing or backup camera, which most modern cars now have as standard features.
Making a claim if you have a parking lot accident
The most common accident in a parking lot happens at low speed and causes damage to the body work, fenders, bumpers and side mirrors. In Tennessee, it is important to know who was to blame for the accident as the state’s comparative fault law means that you can only claim for damages, both to the vehicle and for personal injury if you were less than 50% at fault. For example, if there is shared fault and you have $2,000 worth of repairs, you may only be able to claim for $1,500 from the other driver’s insurer if it is determined that you were 25% at fault yourself.
The comparative fault rule applies to pedestrians who are injured in a parking lot accident, too. For example, if you are hit by a reversing car and suffer a broken leg and cuts, you may not be able to claim the full cost of treatment if you weren’t using a purpose built pedestrian pathway and instead were cutting across the lot. The driver may also be at fault as there is still a need to keep a close look out if reversing and no driver can assume that they can just back out unless they look out for other vehicles and pedestrians.
You may need a dedicated car accident attorney
Nashville Injury Attorney has over the years built a solid reputation for successful car accident claims. Keith Williams and his team have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their many clients. You can rely on Nashville Injury Attorney for their skill and experience in dealing with all types of car and truck accidents, including parking lot accidents. Ring the office for an online or phone appointment at 615-395-3003.