A Maine car accident lawyer discusses the dangers
Car accidents in parking lots happen far more often than many people might realize. Pedestrians, cyclists, other drivers, and passengers often sustain serious injuries due to accidents caused by someone in a parking lot, according to a recent study conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC).
According to the NSC, “Tens of thousands of crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.”
That’s why it’s critical people understand the reasons parking lot accidents happen and the legal options available to injury victims and their families.
Why do parking lot accidents happen?
One of the most common causes of parking lot accidents involves distracted driving, according to the NSC study. In particular, 66 percent of people polled by the NSC admitted they would make a phone call while driving in a parking lot.
The same people polled by the NSC admitted they would also do the following distracting behavior while driving in a parking lot:
- Operate a GPS while driving in a parking lot (63 percent)
- Text while driving (56 percent)
- Post or read social media posts while driving (52 percent)
- Send, receive or read emails while driving (50 percent)
- Take photos or watch videos while driving (49 percent)
In addition, parking lot accidents often occur due to:
- Speeding drivers
- Aggressive drivers
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Bad lighting, lack of signage (resulting in vehicles crashing head-on into each other), ice on the pavement, potholes, cracks, and debris in the parking lot can also be contributing factors in a car accident, according to the NSC.
Whatever the cause of your parking lot accident, make sure you get the medical care you need right away if you sustain a serious injury. You should also call the police to investigate.
Who’s most at risk in parking lots?
Pedestrians walking in parking lots are most at risk of being hit by a car, especially when drivers are distracted or speeding and don’t slow down. Depending on where the parking lot is located, bicyclists may also be at risk.
In addition, just because you’re in a car doesn’t mean another driver can’t cause a parking lot accident that results in a serious injury. Rear-end accidents caused by drivers backing out of a parking spot can be especially dangerous. The same goes for drivers backing in or out of a parking space. Always be on the lookout for other vehicles in a parking lot.
How to avoid accidents in parking lots
Drivers have a duty to remain attentive and be on the lookout for other motorists and pedestrians in parking lots.
According to the NSC, parking lot safety steps include:
- Always look for other vehicles before walking or driving in a parking lot.
- Don’t rely on backup cameras or other technology. Look over your shoulder before backing out of a parking space and check your rear-view mirrors.
- Follow the flow of traffic in the parking lot. Don’t drive, walk or bicycle the wrong way.
- Make sure your headlights are on if you’re driving or parking in a parking lot. You want to make sure other drivers can see you.
- Just like you would when driving on a regular road, stay in your lane while driving in a parking lot. Some motorists negligently cut corners or drive across parking rows, putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk of a collision.
Despite precautionary measures, parking lot accidents often occur due to careless and negligent drivers. When they do, it’s critical that you have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side to stand up for your rights.
Talk to an attorney about your legal options
Don’t simply assume you will be fairly compensated for your injuries just because a negligent driver is to blame for your accident. Often, drivers who hit others in parking lots deny doing anything wrong. Other times, their auto insurance companies take an aggressive approach and do everything they can to avoid responsibility.
We know the games insurance companies play, and we know what it takes to win. That’s why crash victims throughout Maine routinely rely on the experienced car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. We know how to investigate parking lot accidents and find the evidence you need to demand the compensation you rightfully deserve. Such evidence may include security camera footage from the parking lot, statements from eyewitnesses, and/or a detailed analysis of your official car accident report.
Learn more about how we can help you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a Maine car accident lawyer you can count on in a crisis. We have seven offices conveniently located throughout the state.