Chicago Parking Lot Car Accident: Legal Rights & Compensation
Parking lot accidents happen all the time. At times, motorists return to their parked car in a large parking lot, only to find visible damage left on their parked vehicle, and the person responsible for the fault is nowhere to be found.
However, law enforcement often considers parking lot accidents as happening on private property. The authorities often don’t respond to a parking lot accident unless someone suffers severe injuries.
It would leave the parties involved wondering who is at fault for the incident and how they can file an insurance claim without a police report.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have a reputation for helping clients - as pedestrians or a moving vehicle - caught up in parking space incidents get results and arrive at a fair settlement, even for minor accidents and injuries.
Contact our car accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 9till-free phone number) for a free consultation.
Handling a Chicago Parking Space Auto Accident
Although the two vehicles collision occurred in a privately owned parking space, the incident should be handled as any other accident. When people are in collisions in parking lots, they should remain calm and stay at the accident scene.
What Do You Do in a Parking Lot Accident with Injuries?
Initially, ensure that no one needs medical assistance. Call 911 to report the parking lot accident if anyone seems dazed, hurt, or severely injured.
Any parties in the incident are advised to call the police immediately. Police officers will prepare a police report, which will be an official account of what occurred. Insurance companies commonly use these reports in determining fault in a parking lot collision.
Next, gather relevant details on how the accident occurred. Write down information, such as the phone number and insurance information of the other party, irrespective of whose fault it was.
Victims of a parking lot accident are better positioned to claim compensation by gathering and presenting relevant information. A person involved in an accident has legal rights to gather evidence and exchange information on the other vehicles and every driver caught up in the mishap:
- Driver’s name and address
- Driver’s license number
- Contact and insurance information
- Model and license plate number of the vehicles
Gathering Evidence and Building a Case
Contact a personal injury lawyer to assist you with the case. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC helps clients get results through their expertise in fault determination rules in various accident scenarios.
When caught in a parking lot accident, looking around for witnesses is as essential as calling the police.
It would help if you aimed to obtain video evidence of the car accident by getting the security camera footage. It will be crucial to determine fault for the mishap.
How Is Fault Determined in Parking Lot Accidents?
Parking area accidents are common in Chicago and the most difficult to ascertain when determining who is at fault. The general rule is to treat the right-of-way rules of parking lots in the same way as that of a public road.
Some ways to determine who had the right-of-way in Chicago include:
- Motorists should give a right-of-way to pedestrians in all situations
- The right-of-way of a vehicle passing through parking lanes supersedes the vehicle entering or exiting a parking area.
- The right-of-way of a vehicle passing through main lanes supersedes an automobile getting in or out of a parking lane.
- When only one moving vehicle is in either the parking spot or traffic lane, that driver is usually determined to bear the fault for the accident.
- The other driver could be at fault if they pull forward and hit a parked car or another vehicle in the feeder lane.
- If one car rear-ends the other in a parking space or open area, that driver will likely be found guilty of causing the collision, especially if no other driver is around.
- Hit-and-run accidents in parking lots are also typical. Motorists could be criminally liable for fleeing after striking one or two vehicles.
- When two cars are simultaneously entering or exiting spots close to each other, the right of way should be given to the first vehicle that moved first.
Handling a Fender Bender in a Parking Lot
Drivers in a fender bender in a parking spot should never leave the accident perimeter, even if they believe the damage was minor and was not their fault.
Many drivers involved in minor collisions avoided hit-and-run charges by staying on the scene, gathering evidence, and writing down relevant information.
Parking Lot Accidents FAQs
Below are frequently asked questions raised by people injured or whose parked cars were damaged in parking lot car accidents. Contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding any additional questions.
What Percentage of Accidents Happen in Parking Lots?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 20% of car accidents occur in parking lots. The National Safety Council finds that about 75% of motorists caught in parking lot accidents are distracted. Drivers make calls or text, resulting in driving mistakes despite the cars’ low speeds.
The most common collision in a parking lot is when a moving driver hits a legally parked car. It includes dinging your neighbor's vehicle while opening your door and similar mishaps.
Who Is at Fault If a Vehicle Backs into You?
Not everyone involved in a car accident immediately knows who was at fault. Gathering evidence from eyewitnesses, damages, photographs, and police reports can help determine who is responsible for causing the incident.
A detailed investigation is necessary to determine whether the two drivers, the driver, and the pedestrian, are at fault. The property owner can also be held liable if a lack of signage and poor lot design contributed to the incident.
What Are the Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents?
A vehicle accident can happen even to the most careful person. This type of parking lot mishap, such as when cars collide, is almost always a result of another person's negligence. Some of the most common vehicle accidents in parking lots include:
- A driver backing out and failing to check for other vehicles and pedestrians
- Driver pulling into the path of another car
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving, such as texting and other activities that diverts the driver’s attention
- Intoxication of the other driver
- Speeding while in parking lots
- Failure to abide by the traffic signs
Who Has the Right of Way In a Parking Lot?
Any vehicle moving toward the parking space should have the right-of-way to park. However, the right-of-way rules say that yellow yield signs or stop signs posted in the parking lot will supersede that motorist’s right to enter a parking space before other drivers.
Additionally, as a general rule, the vehicles in the through lanes have the right of way, and drivers approaching the through lanes from the parking lanes must yield the right of way to drivers in the through lanes.
Moreover, thoroughfare lanes have the right of way over those vehicles traveling from the feeder lanes (lanes containing parking spots) and have right-of-way over vehicles entering or exiting the parking lane.
Exiting vehicles never have the right of way above pedestrians or others within the parking lot.
Does Your Insurance Company Cover Parking Lot Accidents?
Yes, provided that your insurance policy includes collision coverage. Check with your car insurance provider so that you'll know what to do if a collision occurs.
Parking Lot Accident Attorneys in Chicago Who Are on Your Side
Being caught in a parking lot crash can be overwhelming. In many cases, parking lot accident victims unknowingly say and do things that insurance companies use to deny their claims.
Using a lawyer competent in Illinois civil tort laws involving accidents, car insurance claims, and medicine can help victims avoid these mistakes.
A consultation with an attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is always free, and clients receive advice on the best legal action that fits their situation.
Schedule a free consultation through this contact form or call (888) 424-5757 (toll-free).