What You Should Do If You are Involved in a Parking Lot Accident

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on May 24, 2019

. Updated on March 23, 2022


Parking lotParking lot accidents are quite common. There is a high risk for accidents because of all the activity, from pedestrians to cars pulling into and getting out of parking spaces and entering and leaving the lot. That is why it is important to know more about these accidents, including why they occur, who is at fault and what you should do afterwards.

If a parking lot accident injures you or someone you love, it is vital to consult a skilled South Bend car accident lawyer at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak for assistance. We can investigate the accident, determine who was at fault and discuss the next steps you can take.

Who Has the Right of Way?

Certain drivers have the right of way in parking lots, including:

  • Drivers in parking spots
  • Drivers stopped at a stop sign
  • Drivers in the traffic lane

On the contrary, the driver who tries to pull into a parking spot, or onto the traffic lane is often found at fault for parking lot collisions. Normally, the cars in the through lanes have the right of way. Anyone approaching these lanes must first yield before entering.

A driver exiting a parking spot who collides with someone in the through lane is generally found at fault. The exception to this is when someone in the through lane fails to obey a stop or yield sign.

Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents

These are five of the most common parking lot accidents:

  • Drivers backing into each other’s vehicles – When two cars back out of a parking space at the same time and collide with each other, neither driver has the right of way.
  • The driver pulls out of a space moving forward into the traffic lane –Drivers in the traffic lane have the right of way, the person who pulls out into the traffic lane will usually be found at fault for not stopping and yielding to traffic.
  • The driver backs out of the parking spot and into a moving car – Each driver may have responsibility because they are both moving. The driver already in the traffic lane has the right of way. The backing out driver should wait until it is safe to back out. The person backing out is normally found to have a higher percentage of fault.
  • Two cars attempting to get into the same space – When in a rush, two drivers may collide when they are both trying to get into a single parking space. Both drivers are usually held responsible for this type of accident.
  • A rear-end crash at a stop sign – With only one vehicle moving, the person that rear-ends the other is often held legally responsible.

What to Do After an Accident

There are three important tasks to complete after a parking lot accident:

  • Protect yourself – Be sure that you are in a safe place and away from potential harm. If you are out in traffic there is a risk of other cars hitting you because drivers are not expecting cars to be stopped. Move your vehicle if necessary or just walk to a safe place. Once you are in a safe place, you can proceed with the next steps.
  • Contact the local police – It is important that you report the accident and remain at the scene until officials dismiss you.  A formal police report could help when making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
  • Gather information about the accident – Collect as much evidence about the accident as you possibly can. You can do this by taking photos of the scene, collecting contact information for witnesses and other involved parties and their insurance carriers.

Contact a Skilled Lawyer for Help with Your Accident

After a parking lot accident harms you or a loved one, it is important to have a qualified legal team on your side. The attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can explain the type of accident, how fault is determined and what your legal options are for recovery. Our team can explain modified comparative negligence and what effect it has on your case. Our lawyers will work diligently to determine which party is liable and the range of compensation possible based on the specifics of your accident.

Our legal team is available over the phone or through live chat. Contact us for a free case review of your accident. Call (574) 444-0741.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases