Parking lot collisions happen every day. With limited visibility and space to maneuver, parking lots and garages are common locations for minor to severe car accidents. Despite most of these collisions occurring at low speeds, parking lot crashes carry the risk of serious injuries. If a parking lot or garage accident led to your injuries, a well-practiced auto collision attorney could help you recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver.
Filing a claim for damages can be challenging, especially without the professional help and guidance of an attorney. You must prove that the other driver acted negligently in causing the crash. A Fort Carson parking lot accident lawyer could assist you by investigating your claim, negotiating with insurance providers, and even taking your case to trial if necessary.
Who is responsible for a parking lot accident typically depends on whether one or both cars were in motion and who had the right-of-way. If only the defendant driver was moving at the time of a parking lot accident, a Fort Carson attorney could make a compelling argument that they are at fault for the collision.
In fact, many accidents in parking garages involve collisions with parked vehicles. Drivers who collide with parked cars are often deemed responsible for an injured person’s subsequent damages.
If both vehicles were moving, liability depends on which driver had the right-of-way, which is the right to enter a space before any other vehicles. In other words, all drivers in parking lots should wait for the motorist with the right-of-way to pass before moving.
Most lots and garages include rows of parking spaces and lanes to connect them. Typically, a driver traveling in a lane has the right-of-way compared to motorists attempting to enter or exit from a parking space. In other words, drivers backing out of spaces must defer to cars already in the lane they intend to enter.
The right-of-way may be unclear when both cars are in intersecting lanes. Like with yield signs on a roadway, a driver should allow any cars established in the lane they intend to enter to pass before proceeding.
In many parking lot accidents, multiple parties share responsibility for the resulting damages. Parking lots and garages which lack signs or painted lines to identify lanes could create civil liability for the public or private entities that own them in the event of an accident.
Additionally, having the right-of-way does not absolve a motor vehicle operator of liability. For example, if a driver with the right-of-way is speeding and collides with a motorist who is backing out of a parking space, they may be assigned a percentage of the blame.
It is important to note that state law prevents a plaintiff from recovering compensation if they are 50 percent or more at-fault for their own injuries. If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent responsible, they may still be awarded damages, but their compensation would be reduced in proportion to their assigned percentage of fault. A Fort Carson parking lot accident attorney could help an injured claimant refute allegations of contributory negligence and obtain maximum compensation on their behalf.
When it comes to choosing an attorney after a parking lot crash, experience is important. Parking lot accidents can be challenging to litigate without a thorough understanding of relevant laws. To ensure your rights are protected, call a Fort Carson parking lot accident lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.