Most of us deal with parking lots on a daily basis. You can encounter them virtually anywhere you go, like school, work, the gym, the grocery store, or even at home if you live in an apartment or condo complex. While parking lots may seem safer than other areas where you may drive or walk, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that around 20 percent of all vehicle accidents occur in parking lots. In addition, while these accidents are often low-speed crashes, they can still cause significant damage and serious injuries. As a result, anyone hurt in a parking lot accident should speak with a New Orleans car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Parking lots often have cars going every which way, making it difficult to determine who has the right of way and who might be liable for an accident. To make matters worse, many parking lots are considered private property, which means law enforcement agencies often do not come to the scene of a parking lot accident unless there is a severe injury or suspected drug or alcohol use involved. Depending on if there were witnesses to your accident or if it was caught on camera, it may come down to your word against the other driver. Having a New Orleans car accident lawyer on your side can help protect your rights.
Numerous lanes in the center of the parking lot between parked cars and those around the perimeter of the lot can make navigating parking lots difficult. Parking lots are less clear cut than roads when it comes to determining the right-of-way. In general, cars that are in through lanes have the right-of-way. Vehicles in the middle lanes need to yield the right-of-way to cars in the perimeter lanes, and all cars must still obey STOP or YIELD signs. Even if you think the other car had the right of way in your parking lot accident, it is never a bad idea to check in with a skilled car accident attorney in New Orleans to find out if you have any legal recourse.
Every driver is responsible for maneuvering their vehicle safely in and out of parking spots.
Drivers waiting to back out of a spot should yield to cars around them that have already begun the backing process. In general, the car that started backing last will be liable if the two cars collide. However, it can be hard to ascertain which car started backing out first. No matter if you are parking, backing out, entering, or leaving a parking lot, a good rule of thumb is to always drive defensively just as you would on the road.
Although parking lot accidents may seem straightforward, there are many legal rules that can apply. Many different situations can cause an accident in a parking lot, and most should be reviewed by a car accident lawyer in New Orleans. The most common types of parking lot accidents include:
No matter how simple your parking lot accident appears, you should still reach out to a car accident attorney in New Orleans to assess the circumstances. Even relatively simple accidents at low speeds can cause serious injuries and thousands of dollars in property damage to your vehicle.
Schedule your consultation today with a New Orleans car accident lawyer and begin protecting your rights. Call (504) 500-5000 to reach the Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C., or use our convenient online contact form.