Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018 at 9:37 pm
Most drivers rarely consider that the humble parking lot is a danger to them or the car, but statistics prove them wrong. It’s perhaps not surprising that 20% of all car accidents happen in parking lots. Let’s face it, cars and other vehicles spend much of their time in these places and negotiating your way in and out of them can be often quite stressful. What seems to happen is that many people are so concerned that they can’t find anywhere to park, that they concentrate on looking for empty spaces far more than looking out for the other vehicles around them as well as pedestrians who just happen to be going to or from their vehicles.
Pedestrians are often the most at risk in a parking lot
As far as pedestrian accidents are concerned it has been estimated that over 50% of what are called ‘back-over’ accidents happen in parking lots. Back-over accidents are typical parking lot type accidents where a driver fails to see a pedestrian passing to the rear of them when they reverse out of a space in the lot. The driver is often far more concerned with avoiding scratching the vehicles to each side, or his / her own vehicle, than considering the possibility that someone might actually be behind them.
The only saving grace of a parking lot accident is that it is likely to happen at a relatively slow speed. This might not help a pedestrian, but it does mean that cars themselves tend to be more damaged while injuries to those in the vehicles involved in the crash are less severe.
Here are some tips for those who regularly use parking lots and wish to avoid an accident.
- Use a parking space further away from the store or office you intend to visit. It might mean more of a walk, but you are also further away from where the most popular parking spaces are so less likely to get hit.
- Look for a ‘pull-through’ spot. This is where you can nose through a parking lot space into the next space with your trunk pointing outwards. It means you don’t have to reverse out of the space when you decide to leave.
- If you are a pedestrian, and presumably nearly everyone who uses a parking lot is going to get out of their car for a period, keep a really good look out for reversing drivers and traffic through the lot in general. Assume that many drivers are not looking out for you as much as you are looking out for them.
- If you are a driver, exiting from a parking lot, make sure you check behind as much as you check the vehicles on each side. There is no point in making a speedy exit if you end up seriously hurting someone and find that you are the subject of a personal injury claim.
- Don’t try and reverse into an empty parking space when the lot is crowded. If you see a space that you can fit into, drive into it head-first. Trying to reverse in to an empty space holds up other traffic and accidents happen more frequently when they get frustrated, or you get frustrated and try to edge by.
If injured in a parking lot accident, contact a personal injury attorney
If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, either as a pedestrian or the occupant of a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation if you were not to blame for the accident. Parking lots often have plenty of potential witnesses around, so you shouldn’t let the opportunity pass if you are injured or your vehicle is hit and damaged.
You will need evidence that the other driver was behaving negligently. For example, the driver may have hit you because he or she was driving too fast, wasn’t looking out, failed to look behind when reversing out of a parking space or was distracted by something.
Personal injury claims can help pay for repairs to your vehicle and medical bills that may have been incurred because you were injured. They can also help to compensate for any lost wages you may have suffered because you could not return to work straight away because of your injuries.
If you are seeking compensation after a parking lot accident in McAllen or San Antonio, contact the Patino Law Office, serving McAllen, Mission, Edinburg & Pharr, Texas, at 956-631-3535.