When a collision occurs on the road, usually one driver is considered at-fault. In some cases, drivers may share responsibility if both made decisions that contributed to the crash. When an accident occurs on private property, however, the property owner may share some liability. Drivers and property owners should understand their rights and responsibilities in a parking lot accident.
Parking Lots are Unique Environments for Accidents
There are key differences between an accident on the open road and one that occurs in a parking lot. Cars are typically traveling at lower speeds in parking lots, which can lessen the force of impact in a crash. Injuries may still occur, but they tend to be less severe. Drivers who do speed in parking lots endanger those around them, since a parking lot accident can occur very quickly.
Parking lots have some unique obstacles, such as tight corners and concrete barriers. The traffic pattern in the lot might not be immediately clear to visitors, who may unexpectedly encounter vehicles coming in the opposite direction. Visibility can be limited if the lot is crowded and drivers have difficulty seeing around corners. Pedestrian accidents are also very common in parking lots. Drivers may not see pedestrians as they are backing out of a parking spot or coming around a corner.
A parking lot is also full of distractions. Pedestrians may be handling bags or talking on phones as they make their way back to their cars. Drivers are often looking out for a parking spot and may not be focused on oncoming traffic, parked cars, pedestrians, or bicyclists that are in their path.
Privately Owned Parking Lots
When an accident occurs in a privately-owned parking lot, the conditions of the parking lot may determine whether the owner is liable for the resulting injuries. Property owners are required to take reasonable measures to eliminate or minimize hazards on their property, including parking lots. Parking lots must be well lit, have sufficient entrances and exits, and have barriers separating walkways from traffic. Failure to take these steps can cause accidents, for which the owner can be held responsible.
Drivers involved in an accident should stay at the scene and call police to get an official report. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident can face serious penalties. If the accident involved a parked car, the driver should do their best to notify the owner, leave their information, and report the accident. If possible, drivers should take photos of the scene, which could help document any hazards or other circumstances that may have contributed to the accident.
Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton and Torrenzano Help Victims of Parking Lot Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in a parking lot, call the Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Eaton and Torrenzano. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers understand the unique elements involved in a parking lot accident and will thoroughly review the facts to determine if driver or property owner negligence was a factor in your injury. We will work tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable and obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today at 718-332-7766 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices conveniently located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York, as well as Hillsborough, New Jersey, we represent auto accident victims in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan.