Chicago Parking Lot Accident Lawyer
Parking lot accidents happen all the time. At times, motorists return to their parked car in a large parking lot, only to find a scratch left on their parked vehicle, and the person who caused the accident is nowhere around to blame. At other times, drivers find themselves involved in a parking lot car accident, and their best course of action is to call the police.
However, law enforcement often considers parking lot accidents on private property. In many cases, the police don’t respond to a parking lot accident unless someone suffers from severe personal 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 at (888) 424-5757 have a reputation for helping clients involved in parking space incidents get results and arrive at a fair settlement, even for a minor accident.
Our car accident lawyers currently represent clients throughout Illinois, the Chicago area, and the following localities: Cook County, Dupage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.
Handling a Chicago Parking Space Auto Accident
Although a car accident occurred in a privately owned parking space, the incident should be handled as any other accident. People involved in collisions in parking lots 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 seemed dazed, hurt, or severely injured.
Any of the parties in the incident are advised to call the police immediately. Police officers will prepare a police report, which will serve as an official account of what took place. Insurance companies commonly use these reports in determining fault in parking lot car mishaps.
Next, gather relevant details on how the accident occurred. Write down information, such as the phone number and insurance information of the other party. Use a phone to record evidence of the parking space accident; the video will be helpful in the absence of an official accident report from the police.
Victims of car park accidents are better positioned to claim compensation by gathering and presenting relevant information. A person involved in a car backing up accident has legal rights to gather evidence and take down the following information on the other vehicles and every driver involved:
- Driver’s name and address
- Driver’s license number
- Contact and insurance information
- Model and license plate number of the vehicles involved
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 car accident scenarios.
When involved in a parking lot accident, looking around for witnesses is as essential as calling the police. Law enforcers don’t always arrive on time, if at all, and witnesses can provide an unbiased perspective of what transpired.
An insurance company may hassle a claimant for not having an official report from the police. At certain times, an insurance company may even rationalize that it cannot be held accountable for accidents on private property.
In such circumstances, it is best to call a car accident attorney. Some insurance companies are relatively slow in paying out claims, but a lawsuit threat makes them more compliant.
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 car moves in either the parking spot or traffic lane, that driver is usually determined to be at fault.
- 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 car in a parking space or open area, that driver will likely be found responsible for causing the collision, especially if no other driver is involved.
- The driver who failed to yield to oncoming traffic could be responsible for all damages.
- Motorists fleeing the scene of hit-and-run accidents in parking lots are also responsible. They could be found criminally liable for fleeing the scene after striking one or more 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.
- The property owner or lot management company could be responsible for vehicle damage caused by their shopping carts.
The only time a driver would not be considered at fault for hitting a pedestrian would be if the latter acted recklessly.
Handling a Fender Bender in a Parking Lot
Drivers and other parties involved in a fender bender in a parking spot should never leave the scene even if they believe the damage was minor. Law enforcement and businesses install surveillance cameras in parking spaces and side streets that could quickly identify drivers and their vehicles.
Many drivers involved in minor collisions avoided hit-and-run charges by staying on the scene and gathering evidence and writing down relevant information such as the other vehicle's VIN (vehicle identification number).
The VIN can be viewed through the windshield in the lower right corner on the driver's side. It also helps to track down the other vehicle owner, leave a note, and call the local law enforcement to make a report.
Parking Lot Accidents FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions raised by people injured or whose parked cars were damaged in parking lot car accidents. We appreciate that these questions may not address all of your concerns. Consequently, contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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 involved in parking lot accidents are distracted. Drivers make calls or text, resulting in driving mistakes despite the cars’ low speeds.
Who Is at Fault If a Car Backs Into You?
Not everyone involved in a car accident knows immediately who was at fault in the accident. 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 or 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 cars 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 Pulling Into a Parking Lot?
Any vehicle already moving toward the parking space should have the right-of-way to park. However, the right of way rules says 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.
Nonetheless, the general rule is for motorists to drive slow, stay alert, and use turn signals to prevent incidents in parking lots.
Does Your Insurance Company Cover Parking Lot Accidents?
Yes, provided that your insurance policy includes collision coverage.
Parking Lot Accident Attorneys in Chicago Who Are on Your Side
Being involved 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, insurance claims, and medicine can help victims avoid these mistakes. We help maximize clients’ legal case value and settle their claims, from medical bills, vehicle damage, lost income, and other losses.
A consultation with an attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is always free, and clients get advice on the best legal action that fits their specific situation. Schedule a free consultation through this contact form or call at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call).
Our legal team offers assurance that all discussions with its lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. The firm’s attorneys follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.