A driver backing out of a parking space should look both ways and yield right of way to cars traveling in the lane the driver is attempting to back into. If two vehicles collide while trying to back out of a parking space, neither has the right of way and may be held equally at fault.
Right of way is essential in an accident because the driver who did not have the right of way is usually held legally responsible for any injuries or damage.
Even when cars are backing up at a slow speed, a collision can cause significant vehicle damage and painful injuries.
Common Types of Parking Lot Collisions
There are a number of types of parking lot collisions. Collisions are particularly common in dimly lit carports or parking garages. Sometimes, parking garages have blind spots that could contribute to the rates of collisions in parking lots.
Here are some examples of common parking lot collisions:
- Two cars attempt to pull into the same parking spot
- Two cars back out at the same time, rear-ending each other
- One car backing out of a parking lot hits a car driving by
- A car hits a pedestrian while backing out of a parking space
If you are involved in a parking lot collision, let an experienced collision attorney help you through the process. It can be difficult to understand issues of fault in these circumstances. An attorney can help you predict fault percentage and your related possibilities for compensation.
Georgia is a comparative fault state, meaning that if you are deemed to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by that percentage. For example, if you are deemed 10% at fault for the accident, you would receive 90% of the requested compensation. Your attorney can calculate these likelihoods for you.
Parking Lot Accident Statistics
- 20% of car accidents occur in parking lots
- 66% of drivers use a cell phone in parking lots
- 50,000 accidents occur in parking lots
- 60,000 injuries are the result of parking lot accidents
What Are the Right-of-Way Rules for Backing Out of Parking Spaces?
The general rule is that a car traveling straight down a lane next to a parking space has the right of way. Drivers backing out of parking spaces must look in all directions to ensure it is safe to pull out. If the driver can’t see because of another car or other obstacle, the driver should ease out of the parking space until it is possible to determine whether it is safe to pull out all the way.
Because the driver who is backing up does NOT have the right of way, the driver backing out of a space will usually be at fault for hitting another vehicle or pedestrian.
Who Is Reponsible for a Parking Lot Accident?
There are some instances where the driver backing up may not be at fault, including these:
- The other driver was speeding.
- The other driver or pedestrian was cutting across the parking lot in an erratic or unpredictable way.
- The accident occurred because the other driver was distracted.
- The accident happened because the other driver was drunk.
- A hazard in the parking lot caused the accident.
In addition, it is common for accidents to occur when two drivers are backing out of opposite parking spaces simultaneously. In these accidents, both drivers must look and wait until it is safe to pull out. It is typical for both drivers to be held equally at fault.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Parking Lot Accident?
It can be hard to prove who is at fault in a parking lot accident because most parking lots are privately operated, and police typically do not respond to the scene. That makes it essential to collect some evidence on your own. We recommend:
- Get photos of the damage to the cars and the overall scene. If there were hazards that reduced visibility or otherwise contributed to the accident, photograph those as well.
- Talk to witnesses who saw the accident or the other driver’s behavior just before the accident. Get their names and phone numbers so you can follow up if you need to.
- Exchange driver’s license, license plate, and insurance information with the other driver.
- Make a police report. The police report will document what happened and is essential for any insurance claim.
Whatever you do, don’t say the accident was your fault. Even in a simple parking lot accident, a fault may depend on many factors, and you don’t want to be held responsible for an accident you didn’t cause.
To protect your rights, we also recommend that you see a doctor and a lawyer quickly after the accident. A doctor can check you out for any injuries. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can evaluate what happened in the accident and tell you if you might have a claim. A lawyer knows how to get the other driver’s insurance company to pay you the most money possible for your injuries.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers handle parking accidents every day, and we’ve built an impressive track record. We never charge you money unless we win money for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation to show you how we can get you the money you need.
Call us or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.