Are Parking Lot Accidents the Same as Crashes on Washington Roadways?

On average, more than 50,000 car crashes occur in parking lots and parking garages every year in the U.S., resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries. Many people are surprised to learn that there are some important differences between a parking lot accident and one on a Washington roadway. But there are also many similarities involving the two scenarios. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a parking lot collision, please contact our experienced attorneys now.

What are the Differences?

Unlike an accident on a state road or highway, parking lot accidents occur on private property. This means two very important things:

  1. The “rules of the road” do not apply to these crashes, and
  2. Police officers typically do not respond to them.

Both realities make it difficult in these cases to determine who caused the accident.

To further complicate matters, there are several unusual fact scenarios as to how an accident can occur. For example:

  • Two cars can back into each other (while exiting parking places),
  • A car turning from a main parking lot route can turn into a parked car,
  • Two cars turning into a parking space simultaneously can collide, and
  • A car can ram into another auto from behind

These confusing fact patterns again make it difficult to prove that one driver was indeed responsible for causing the accident.

What are the similarities?

Parking lot accidents are like those on Washington roads in so far as what drivers must do after an accident. For example, after a parking lot incident or one on a state road, a driver should:

  • Take pictures: This includes taking pictures of the cars involved, the road or parking lot involved, and the location of any pedestrians.
  • Gather witness statements: Drivers should try and find any persons that observed the incident. Once this is done, it’s important to obtain a statement from that person of what he/she saw.
  • Take videos: Most smart phones these days have the capability to record videos. Motorists should record a video of the accident scene while trying to capture the weather conditions. As to parking lot accidents, there are security cameras on most parking lots. A motorist can ask the facility for a copy of the camera’s footage.
  • Contact Insurers: Drivers involved in an accident must report the incident to their insurance companies. Note that auto insurance policies typically have a cooperation clause that requires drivers to report collisions. A person that violates this clause may see his/her policy get canceled.

Given the difficulty in proving liability in parking lot cases, it is important for drivers to follow the above and gather as much evidence as possible. Many of these cases involve drivers pointing fingers at one another when it comes to blame. A driver with more evidence will have an easier time showing fault.

Contact an Attorney

No matter what type of auto crash a person is involved in, he/she must consult an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled lawyer will be able to help gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies. If necessary, an injury attorney can help an injured driver file a lawsuit in court to receive the compensation he/she deserves. This includes compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

The attorneys at Otorowski Morrow and Golden, PLLC have over 120 years of combined experience in representing drivers in auto accident cases. We are tireless in our efforts and dedicated in our representation. We work hard to ensure that all clients are well adware of their legal options and understand every aspect of their case. We also provide free consultations to all. Contact us now and get the legal help that makes all the difference.