Although a parking lot is a small space, it can still be the site of devastating car accidents. Parking lots are full of vehicles, fixed objects, pedestrians, and other hazards. These characteristics can make a parking lot accident especially catastrophic and dangerous.
Many people think parking lots are safer for drivers than highways, interstates, or other roadways. Yet, approximately one in every five car accidents occurs in a parking lot. This amounts to more than 50,000 parking lot accidents annually.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a parking lot accident, fault plays a crucial role in who pays for your losses. Our attorneys, Dan Gerash, Mike Blanton, and Eric Steiner, M.D., proudly uphold the legacy created by retired Colorado attorney Walter L. Gerash. Our injury lawyers have more than 75 years of combined experience advocating for victims of car accidents. Contact us today so we can review your case.
Determining Fault in a Parking Lot Accident
After an accident in a parking lot, who is at fault is likely one of the questions you need to answer before filing a lawsuit. Fault is determined in a parking lot accident the same way it is determined in a car accident that happens on the highway. In most cases, this means proving one party’s negligence caused the parking lot accident. Proving negligence requires showing evidence of four elements:
- Duty of care,
- Causation, and
Let’s go over these elements in more detail.
Duty of Care
Every driver owes a duty of care to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. This duty extends to operating vehicles in parking lots. Proving a driver owed you a duty of care while driving in a parking lot is typically straightforward because all drivers owe others a duty of care. The duty of care does not expire when a driver enters a parking lot.
A driver breaches their duty of care when they fail to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. A driver may breach their duty of care in a parking lot by:
- Driving recklessly;
- Texting while driving;
- Failing to yield to pedestrians;
- Using social media while driving;
- Disobeying traffic law, signs, and signals; and
- Backing out of a parking space without checking their surroundings.
Many drivers mistakenly believe they can ignore the rules of the road within the boundaries of a parking lot, presenting a significant danger to those around them. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a parking lot accident, contact an attorney right away.
Third, you must prove the at-fault party’s breach directly caused your losses. You can do this by proving that your injuries would not have occurred if the at-fault driver had not breached their duty of care.
Lastly, you must prove you suffered damages due to the at-fault party’s negligence. Damages include financial losses you incurred due to the parking lot accident. For example, if the at-fault party crashes into your car and you need vehicle repairs, the costs of your repairs are a form of damages you can recover. If you do not suffer any financial losses from the accident, you cannot recover in a personal injury claim.
What If Multiple Parties Contributed to a Parking Lot Accident?
Many car accidents occur due to some wrongdoing by both involved parties. However, one party typically holds more responsibility than the other. In Colorado, you can still recover through a personal injury claim as long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident.
For instance, if a jury awards an injured party $100,000 worth of damages, but finds they were 30% at fault for the crash, the injured party would receive a $70,000 verdict.
Who Is at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident While Backing Up?
Many parking lot car accidents happen when one vehicle is backing out of a parking space. In some scenarios, the reversing vehicle pulls out of the spot too quickly and hits another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a fixed object. In an alternative scenario, a distracted driver may inadvertently run into the back of a vehicle trying to reverse from their parking space.
Many modern vehicles come equipped with backup cameras to help drivers reverse out of parking spaces safely. Still, drivers must watch their surroundings when they pull out of a space.
How Can a Lawyer Help Determine Parking Lot Accident Fault?
When a car accident happens in a parking lot, the at-fault driver may deny responsibility for the collision. Luckily, our team knows what information can help demonstrate who caused the accident. We can obtain evidence like:
- The accident report generated by law enforcement,
- Surveillance footage of the collision,
- Statements from eyewitnesses, and
- Expert testimony from crash reconstruction experts.
Our team knows what it takes to demonstrate who is responsible for a parking lot accident. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a parking lot accident, contact a lawyer at Gerash Steiner Blanton immediately.
Need to Know Who Is at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident? Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton
Gerash Steiner Blanton is not a high-volume law firm that accepts every case that comes through our doors. Instead, we dedicate individual attention to each of our clients, putting their best interests at the front of our minds. In addition to our long history of advocating for injured victims, our team boasts the following:
- Selection for lists of Best Lawyers in America® and Colorado Super Lawyers®,
- A Colorado physician as a lead attorney,
- A 5.0 out of 5.0 AV® Rating™ for highest ethical standards and legal skill, and
- Proven track record of success.
We are confident in our ability to advocate for your rights and secure a favorable outcome in your case. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a parking lot accident, contact an attorney right away.