How an Attorney May Establish Fault for a Parking Lot Crash
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Aug 06, 2019 in Car Accidents
Parking lot accidents happen all the time and it can be confusing determining which driver is to blame. Sometimes both drivers were violating traffic laws, like speed limits. Often, drivers do not understand right of way laws in parking lots.
Our South Bend car accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak are well-versed in Indiana traffic law and can explain how they may impact your claim. Call us today for a free legal consultation.
Who Is Responsible for an Indiana Parking Lot Crash?
Sometimes the type of accident makes it easier to determine fault, usually because one of the drivers had the right of way.
Below learn more about some common parking lot accidents and the party usually found at fault for them:
- Driver backs out of a parking space and collides with a car that is proceeding down the driving lane – Drivers leaving a parking spot must yield the right of way to both people and other vehicles before backing out. A driver in a parked car should not move out of the parking space until it is safe to do so. In an accident where a driver backs into another vehicle or strikes a person with his or her car, he or she is typically found at fault.
- Driver pulls forward out of the parking space into a car driving down the lane – When a driver pulls forward from a parking space and collides with another vehicle driving down a parking lane, he or she is usually held liable for that accident. The other driver has the right of way in this situation.
- Two drivers back out of different parking spaces and crash into each other – In this scenario, both drivers are in parking spaces and are backing out at the same time. Both drivers have the same level of responsibility to look carefully before backing out and to make sure it is safe to do so. In this type of accident, both drivers are usually assigned a percentage of fault.
- Driver turns suddenly in front of an oncoming vehicle – If a driver is in a rush to find a parking spot, he or she may quickly turn left in front of an oncoming vehicle. A vehicle turning left does not have the right of way and should wait for oncoming traffic to pass before turning or only turn left if there is enough time to do so without causing a hazard. If a driver makes a left turn and hits another driver in the process, he or she will usually be found at fault.
- Driver rear ends another driver – Drivers who rear end other vehicles are usually held liable for the accident. Drivers are responsible for following other vehicles at an appropriate distance and safe speed and for maintaining control of their vehicles.
What if the At-Fault Party Is Uninsured or Underinsured?
Every car owner in Indiana is required, by state law, to carry a minimum amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, unless they specifically reject this coverage in writing. Uninsured/underinsured coverage may allow you to recover damages if you are involved in an accident where the at-fault driver has no insurance or insufficient coverage.
The minimum liability insurance amounts in Indiana are:
- $25,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for one person for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage if more than one person is injured
- $50,000 in underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to make a claim against your own policy up to the coverage limits.
Do You Have to Report the Accident to the Police?
Indiana law requires drivers to report any accident where there is an injury, death or property damage that exceeds $1,000. If anyone is injured in the accident, you are must call 9-1-1 and notify the police so any injured parties can receive medical assistance.
Some police departments may not send an officer to accident scenes involving low-speed accidents where no one was injured.
How a Qualified Lawyer May be Able Help
The experienced attorneys at our firm understand Indiana law and know how to gather evidence to help establish who may be at fault, such as video recordings at the place of business, eyewitness statements and medical records.
Contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak today for a free case review of your accident. There are no upfront costs or attorney’s fees unless you have a case, we represent you and we recover compensation.