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New Orleans Parking Lot Accidents

Posted in Parking Lot Accidents,Car Accidents on January 30, 2020

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.

Liability in New Orleans Parking Lot Accidents

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.

Who Has the Right-of-Way?

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.

Parking and Backing Out

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.

Types of Parking Lot Accidents

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:

  • Two cars back up into each other –There is no right-of-way in this situation. Each driver is responsible for looking and ensuring that it is safe to back up before doing so. Who is at fault? Both drivers might share blame for the accident unless one can prove that the other started backing after they did.
  • A driver leaves a parking space by pulling forward into the lane of traffic – When both vehicles are in motion, both may be liable. In a parking lot, drivers already in the lane of traffic have the right-of-way. The driver who left the space will likely have the majority at fault in this parking lot accident.
  • A driver leaves a parking space by backing out and into an oncoming vehicle – In this scenario, both cars are moving, so each driver may carry some responsibility. The car already in the traffic lane has the right of way. The driver who is backing out is supposed to wait until it is safe to back out and is likely to be found mostly at fault in this accident.
  • Two cars are competing for the same space crash – In this scenario, the most important issue to determine is which driver had the right of way. The driver turning across traffic must yield to any oncoming vehicles, just like on roadways. The driver turning left into the parking spot will more than likely be at fault in this scenario. Other contributing factors such as the points of impact on the cars, how far each vehicle was into the parking space when the collision occurred, and the speed of the vehicles before the collision will also impact which driver has responsibility for the accident.
  • A car rear-ends another at a stop sign –When only one car is moving, it is typically the driver of the vehicle that is moving that will be deemed at fault for an accident. It doesn’t matter if the car in front stops suddenly at a stop sign; the driver in the car behind it still has the responsibility to stop or not follow too closely so they have the time and the distance they need to stop. Drivers have a duty to provide enough distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to avoid a rear-end collision no matter where they are driving.

Parking Lot Accident? Call a Seasoned New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer for Help

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.