Who's At Fault In A Parking Lot Accident?


The open road isn't the only place where you can get into an accident. Parking lots are also ripe with opportunities to get into a fender bender with other drivers. The following talks about how the issue of fault is handled when it comes to parking lot accidents and what you can do to minimize your own liability.

It Depends on the Situation

Figuring out who's at fault for a parking lot accident isn't as straightforward as one might think. There are plenty of different accident scenarios that could occur in a typical parking lot and each situation offer differing assessments of fault:

  • A driver backs out of a parking space and strikes a moving or stationary vehicle; the driver backing out of the space is found at fault.
  • Two vehicles backing out at the same time strike each other; both drivers share fault.
  • A driver accidentally clips another vehicle while leaving the parking lot; the driver of the clipping vehicle is found at fault.
  • A driver exits the vehicle, only to strike another vehicle with his or her car door; the driver is found at fault.
  • A driver waits for another driver to exit a parking space, only for a third driver to aggressively take the space and cause a collision with the waiting driver as a result; both the waiting driver and the aggressive driver may share fault, although the amount of fault assigned may depend on each driver's actions.

In any accident involving a driver striking a pedestrian, the driver will automatically be considered at fault.

Understanding Right-of-Way

Just as ordinary streets have right-of-way conventions, so do parking lots. The right-of-way is usually determined by which type of lane the driver is in. Drivers in a thoroughfare (a lane that exits onto a nearby street) have the right-of-way over drivers in feeder lanes (smaller lanes that start and end at each thoroughfare). Drivers traveling the feeder lanes must stop and allow traffic in thoroughfares to pass through before crossing or entering the thoroughfare. Meanwhile, drivers in the feeder lane have the right-of-way over drivers pulling out of parking spaces.

Pedestrians always have the right away over vehicles in the parking lot, regardless of whether they are in the process of parking or traveling in a thoroughfare or feeder lane. Drivers are also obligated to obey all traffic laws and regulatory signs (such as stop signs, one-way signs, and speed limits) as they would on the open road. Failure to do so could result in you being at fault for any accident that occurs as a result.

How Your Insurance Company Determines Fault

The way your insurance company will determine fault in a parking lot accident is the same as any other automotive accident. Your insurance provider will consider all of the evidence gathered and presented. Most insurance companies rely on their own fault determination rules regarding common and not-so-common accidents. The Canadian province of Ontario, however, has its own official set of fault determination rules for insurance providers to follow.

If the accident occurs in a no-fault state, then it's up to each driver's own insurance company to pay for any injuries suffered. However, the at-fault driver's insurance provider is still on the hook for any damage done to the other driver's vehicle and other property.

In a parking lot accident, photographic evidence and eyewitness testimony are essential for minimizing or even eliminating your liability. However, the best way to limit your liability is to avoid parking lot accidents altogether. When faced with blind spots and other obstacles that limit your vision, it's important to proceed cautiously and allow both pedestrians and reversing vehicles to proceed until they've cleared the lane. You can click here for more information.


10 January 2017

Learning About Accident Attorney Services

Hello, my name is Matthew. Welcome to my site. I am here to talk to you about accident and personal injury attorneys. When I was involved in a serious accident, I had to recover for months in the hospital. My finances suffered due to mounting medical bills and lost wages. I dealt with considerable pain through every phase of the healing process. I worked with an accident and personal injury attorney to obtain compensation for the repercussions of the accident. I created this site to help others find an attorney to work with so they too could acquire compensation following an accident.