What Do You Do if You Crash in a Parking Lot?
Parking lot accidents can happen at any location. Restaurants, doctor’s offices, and shopping center parking lots are just a few examples. If you and another vehicle crash in a parking lot, here’s what you should do.
Stay at the Scene
No matter what, do not drive away. Leaving an accident scene is dangerous. The other driver could charge you with a hit-and-run.
Take some deep breaths and stay where you are. Parking lot accidents are stressful. However, they are manageable if everyone follows the rules.
Exchange or Leave Information
If the other driver is present, exchange the following information:
- First and last names
- Phone numbers
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license numbers
You will need this information if you file an injury claim.
If the Other Driver Isn’t There
Sometimes, one driver hits a vehicle without anyone inside. This situation is pretty prevalent in parking lot settings. If you crash into a vacant car, look for the other driver:
- Walk back into the parking lot’s building. Find a customer service person and describe the vehicle you hit. They might be able to call for the owner on the store’s public announcement speakers.
- If you still can’t find the owner, leave a note. Include your name, phone number, and a description of what happened. Put the letter in a place the owner can easily see.
- Take a picture of the damage. Write down the driver’s license plate number.
Call the Police
Not all parking lot accidents require a police report. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 550.021, an officer can investigate and file a report for a crash if it involves one of the following:
- Injuries or death
- At least $1,000 in property damage to one person’s property
Parking lot accidents are often minor. However, if any of the above applies, call the police. If the police did not file a report and the other driver caused the crash, you’ll need to submit a crash report within ten days.
If someone hits your car, but you can’t find them, call the police. An officer can help you look for the at-fault driver.
If you’re in doubt about the damage, it’s best to call the police. You can also contact a parking lot accident lawyer if you need help. To get a FREE consultation with an experienced lawyer, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.
Get Information from the Scene
If anyone else saw the parking lot accident, talk to them. Ask for their name and contact information. A witness statement can be beneficial for your case.
Use your phone to take a picture of the damage. If you have visible injuries, take photos of those injuries. You can’t take too many pictures, so photograph anything relevant. Your lawyer can let you know what is best for your claim.
See a Doctor
If there is any chance you were physically injured, see a doctor.
You might not notice any pain until later. Some injuries take time to manifest. To know for sure, have a doctor evaluate you.
If you learn that you have injuries later, it will be much harder to get compensation for your costs. The sooner you know about any medical expenses, the better.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
If you caused the parking lot crash, contact your insurance company. You’ll need to report the accident to your insurer.
If another driver hits you, their insurance company might contact you. Be very careful about any communication. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses looking to reduce their costs. So, the insurer will be looking for ways to reduce what they pay you.
The insurance company might use tactics like:
- Offering you a low upfront settlement.
- Downplaying or doubting your injuries.
- Trying to blame you for the crash.
- Intimidating you.
- Making you feel like they’re on your side.
- Convincing you that you don’t need a lawyer.
Don’t be fooled. The insurance company is not on your side. To protect yourself legally, contact a car accident lawyer.
Your lawyer can handle all communication with the insurer. They can also make sure the insurer doesn’t take advantage of you.
We can connect you with the best lawyer for your needs. Plus, there is no fee unless we win your case. To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (214) 305-8277, or contact us online today.
How to Know Who Caused a Parking Lot Accident
It’s vital to know who is at fault after a parking lot accident. Here are two questions that can help:
- Who had the right of way? Even in parking lots, there are right-of-way laws. The at-fault party is typically the driver who did not have the right of way.
- Was only one car moving? The driver of the moving vehicle is usually at fault. In this situation, the moving vehicle often bumps or crashes into a parked car.
Assignment of fault isn’t always apparent in a parking lot accident. If you’re not sure who caused your accident, a lawyer can help.
Your lawyer can also help you build a case to show how the other driver was at fault. You can file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The goal is to get you the fullest compensation possible.
Most Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents
Not every parking lot accident is the same. However, here are some of the most common crash patterns we see:
- One driver leaves a parking spot and drives into a lane of traffic.
- One driver rear-ends another driver.
- Both drivers back out of their spaces into each other.
- One driver backs out of a space into an oncoming driver.
- Both drivers crash while going to the same parking spot.
Partial Fault in a Parking Lot Accident
If both cars were moving, both drivers could be partially at fault. In Texas, you can still seek compensation unless you were over 50% at fault (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.001).
Your lawyer can determine who was at fault. Partial responsibility will reduce your compensation based on your percentage of fault. However, you’ll still have options.
Get a Free Consultation Today with a Parking Lot Accidents Lawyer
If another driver hits you in a parking lot, you have rights. Our car accident lawyers can help you build a strong claim for compensation. We also do not charge a fee unless we win for you.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.