Vehicle Accidents in Parking Lots and Garages: Who Is at Fault?

crashes on private propertyWhen most people think about vehicle accidents, they envision the wrecks that occur on public roads. However, collisions can occur anywhere, including parking garages, parking lots, and driveways. Since parking lots lack traffic lights and walk signals, there are no safety zones to separate pedestrians from vehicles. Furthermore, drivers and pedestrians in parking lots and garages are frequently distracted, significantly increasing the likelihood of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 1,600 people are killed in non-traffic accidents each year.

Determining Fault

When these accidents occur, assigning fault is often a challenge. In addition to drivers, property owners may also be considered at fault for the accident. For example, if a parking garage is improperly lit, or if there is no stop sign at a parking lot intersection, the owner of the property may be liable for accidents that occur as a result.

One unique aspect of collisions on private property is a lack of police involvement, since law enforcement only deals with accidents occurring on public roads. On the road, when an at-fault driver gets a traffic ticket, that citation can be used to help demonstrate negligence. However, since traffic laws aren’t applicable on private property, establishing liability can be more complex. When collisions occur on private property, insurance companies are generally tasked with determining fault and deciding who is liable for damages.

Gathering Evidence

To prove that your accident is the other driver’s fault, you’ll need evidence of his liability. To obtain the evidence you need:

  • Take as many photographs as possible of the scene, vehicles, and any injuries.
  • Obtain driver’s license and insurance information for all parties involved in the accident, and contact information of any witnesses.
  • If you’ve been injured, seek medical treatment right away.

You Need an Attorney

Resolving vehicle accidents in parking lots and garages can be complicated, and you need an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Cain Law Firm by using the form on this page.