Parking Lot Accidents in Denver
CALL (800) 863 5312 TO SPEAK WITH DENVER PARKING LOT ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR FREE
Parking lot accidents may not seem like particularly serious incidents, due to the inherently low speeds and minor property damage typically involved. However, serious injuries may still occur in these accidents, and liability may be difficult to determine in some situations.
PARKING LOT RIGHT-OF-WAY
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident, call the experienced Denver parking lot injury lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863 5312 for a free consultation. If we are unable to reach a favorable settlement in your case, you will not owe us anything.
Parking lots usually consist of thoroughfares, parking lanes, and parking spaces. Thoroughfares connect the parking lot to the street and are usually around the edges of a parking lot, feeding into the parking lanes. Parking lanes are the lane between rows of parking spaces, and parking spaces are areas where vehicles are parked.
Right-of-way and obligations to yield are different according to which part of the parking lot your vehicle is in. Vehicles traveling in the thoroughfare have the right of way, and vehicles entering the thoroughfare from a parking lane must yield to vehicles already traveling through. However, vehicles in the thoroughfares must be careful to obey any stop signs or other signage regarding the behavior of traffic. Parked vehicles must yield to vehicles traveling through the parking lane, and drivers in parked vehicles have an obligation to ensure that it is safe to do so before backing out of a parking space. All vehicles, regardless of where they are in the parking lot, must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians if any are present in all situations.
COMMON CAUSES OF PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS
Backing Up Into Another Car
These accidents occur when two cars in opposite parking spaces back out of their space simultaneously and collide, or a driver backs into a parked car behind them.
Driving too fast in a parking lot can make it difficult to navigate at higher speeds safely, and drivers will have less time in which to react to other drivers and pedestrians.
Pedestrians who are not paying adequate attention may step behind a vehicle backing out or in front of a vehicle driving through the parking lot, causing an accident.
Turning Without Paying Attention
Many drivers may not pay adequate attention to their surroundings in parking lots, and this may result in an accident by turning without being fully aware of other vehicles and pedestrians around them.
Failure To Obey Signs
Drivers who do not heed stop signs, yield signs, or other postings may cause an accident.
Poor Pavement Condition
Potholes, severely cracked pavement, and debris can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and may cause an accident.
Failing to Yield Right-of-Way
Failure to yield the right-of-way to other cars or pedestrians when necessary can cause a crash.
Traffic in parking lots may be congested, and if a driver fails to pay proper attention, they may rear-end a car in front of them if it stops suddenly.
COMMON INJURIES FROM PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS
Despite the relatively low speeds at which most accidents in parking lots occur, drivers and passengers can still suffer serious injuries that may include:
- Broken Bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Cuts and Scrapes
- Emotional Trauma
Pedestrians involved in car accidents in parking lots are much more likely to be seriously injured, as vehicles offer some protection to their occupants, a pedestrian has no such protection. Even at low speeds, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle can suffer serious, and sometimes life-threatening injuries, including:
- Broken Bones
- Internal Injuries
- Serious Cuts and Abrasions
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Brain Trauma
- Emotional Trauma
HOW TO AVOID PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS
Many accidents can be avoided by paying close attention to your surroundings, other drivers, and pedestrians. To further increase your chances of avoiding a parking lot accident, you should:
Learn and follow the rules governing the flow of traffic
Most parking areas will have indicators or signage to help regulate the flow of traffic, such as arrows indicating the direction of travel in a parking lane or a stop sign. Drivers should pay attention to such guidance and follow it.
Be aware of who has the right-of-way
It is important to be familiar with who has the right of way. A driver who has the right of way may assume that other cars will stop before pulling into their lane since they have the right-of-way.
Use crosswalks or designated pedestrian crossings when possible
While pedestrians should always be given the right-of-way, they can minimize the chance of an accident by making use of marked pedestrian crossings if they are available.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT
1. Don’t Underestimate Your Injuries
After a car accident, it may seem like you are relatively fine with only perhaps minor injuries. However, even a seemingly minor ache or pain may be indicative of a more serious injury. Your body releases adrenaline during dangerous or traumatic events, such as a car accident. This burst of adrenaline can conceal pain and may mask injuries you may have suffered but which are not readily visible. As the effect of the adrenaline wears off, you may begin to feel the effects of these injuries. Many injuries, such as neck and back injuries, or internal injuries, may have little or no visible signs, but pain or soreness, especially if it becomes persistent, may be an indicator of a more serious injury. After an accident, you should seek medical attention to ensure that any injuries you may have suffered are properly diagnosed and treated.
2. File A Police Report
After an accident, you should always contact local authorities to file a police report. Even if the damage appears minor or other parties do not want to file a report, it is important that you immediately report the accident. This provides legal documentation of the accident, including the parties involved, location, and details surrounding the accident.
3. Document Evidence
You should document the accident if at all possible. This includes taking photos of the vehicles involved and any injuries you may have suffered. You should also try to take photos of the scene of the accident and the area surrounding it. If there were any witnesses, you should obtain their contact information.
4. Contact An Attorney
Once you have sought medical attention, filed a police report, and have documented evidence of the accident, you should contact an attorney. An attorney may be able to help you with your claim.
5. Contact Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company after an accident and provide them with the information needed to start the process of filing a claim. Further, you should also contact the other person’s insurance company to notify them of the accident so that you may begin the process of pursuing compensation from the insurer if the other person may be liable for your injuries.
DO I NEED A LAWYER AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT?
Many parking lot accidents do not result in injuries and only cause minor damage to the vehicle, and you may not need a lawyer to help you handle the aftermath. However, some accidents may present a more complex set of circumstances, and an attorney may be able to help you better navigate the issues you may run into.
Are You Going To Require Treatment For Injuries?
If you require medical treatment for injuries you sustained in an accident, that may mean costly medical bills and, depending on the severity of your injuries, may cause you to miss work. An attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Was A Pedestrian Involved?
Pedestrians always have the right of way in parking lots. If you have hit a pedestrian, you may be liable. If you have suffered injuries, and you think the pedestrian was especially negligent in their behavior and may have caused the accident, an attorney may be able to help you determine liability and seek compensation. If you were a pedestrian involved in an accident, an attorney may help you navigate the complicated process of pursuing compensation from the driver or the driver’s insurer.
Are You Partially Liable?
In modified comparative negligence states like Colorado, if you are believed to be partially at fault for an accident, this could reduce any compensation you may be eligible for. For instance, if you were on the phone when a car backs out in front of you, you may be held partially at fault. The percentage of the accident deemed to be your fault may be withheld from any compensation you may otherwise be entitled to. An attorney may be able to help you determine your percentage of fault and still pursue compensation.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT
1. Contact An Attorney
An attorney may be able to help you through the process of filing a claim for compensation for any injuries caused by your parking lot accident. A lawyer may be able to help you determine liability and seek compensation for injuries you may have suffered as a result of the accident.
Your attorney may investigate the accident to determine the facts of the accident and discover who may be liable for the accident. They may also try to determine the extent of the injuries you may have suffered and their impact.
Once your attorney has gathered the necessary facts, they may begin negotiating with the insurance company. They may attempt to mitigate any partial fault that may be assigned to you in order to help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Your attorney and the insurance company will continue to negotiate until a settlement agreeable to both parties can be reached, and compensation may be delivered.
If no settlement can be reached, your case may go to trial, where liability and compensation, if any, will be decided.
GET HELP FROM A CAR WRECK LAWYER TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our Denver parking lot accident lawyers are here to assist you with your claim. We help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after suffering a parking lot injury.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.