A parking lot can be a dangerous place. On the road, drivers are on red alert as they operate their vehicles. In a parking lot, texting and other distractions are much more likely to take one’s hands off the wheel, lulling us into a possible accident, even at slow speeds.
Little is more distressing than being on the receiving end of a car accident. In parking lots the rules are slightly different than for on-road collisions. Here’s what you need to know if you’re hit by a car in a parking lot.
What to Do if You Get Into a Car Accident in a Parking Lot
Was it a fender bender? Did a moving vehicle hit your parked car? In either case, remain calm in the aftermath of the incident. If you were in the vehicle when the accident happened, turn off your engine and step outside, just to be on the safe side.
If you were there when the car accident in the parking lot occurred, you’ll be able to reckon with the other party immediately. Introduce yourself and ask to exchange insurance information immediately.
Your next couple of moves will resemble the standard procedure for any automotive incident:
- Avoid admitting fault or becoming emotional.
- Document the incident—the date, the time, and several photos of the damage incurred from multiple angles, including other vehicles, if relevant.
- Call the police, as well as your insurance provider.
The nature of the damage and your own statement will likely be your primary line of defense if you’re worried about proving the veracity of your claim. Surveillance at work in the vicinity might offer you a leg up in your case, so take note of any contact information you see on signage in the area.
And, if you’re the one at fault? If the owner of the other vehicle is there, ask if they’re okay, take pictures to document the damage, and exchange information. Avoid admitting fault. If they’re not nearby, take pictures to document the damage, and leave a note with all the information they’ll need from you to rectify the problem.
If you have time, it’s polite to do what you can to wait for them to return, but you won’t always catch them soon after the incident. As long as you leave the contact info they need, you’ll both be able to resolve the situation together in due time.
Have You Been Hit By a Car in a Parking Lot?
What’s the best way to prevent a car accident in a parking lot? Sometimes, you can’t. That’s why we’re here to help.
The same driving tips on the road apply equally in this context—keep your eyes on what’s ahead, your hands on the wheel, and any distractions tucked away or silenced. Pay close attention to any posted signs or warnings, and do what you can to park safely within the parking lines painted on the ground.
Even if you’re just moseying along your local strip mall, an ounce of care and concern can help you avert a potential disaster—one that may end up costing you dearly in the long run.
Give us a call today.
Michael is an attorney who started Ipson Law because of his passion for personal injury law. He graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA. Learn more about Michael on our about us page, and contact Ipson Law to find out how we can help you.