Parking Lot Accidents
These days people that hit your vehicle in a parking lot will often simply drive away.
If you are the one that damaged a parked car with no occupant, the best course of action is to leave a note with your insurance co phone number and your policy number. If you choose to leave your phone number, remember your don't know with whom you are dealing. For 10 bucks on the internet with Peoplesmart or other websites, anyone can find out where you live.
Take pictures and report the collision to your insurance co before leaving the scene also.
Who Has the Right of Way?
This can get pretty sticky because not all parking lots are laid out better than others. Stop signs, yield signs, and other signage and markings help to establish how traffic is intended to flow in a parking lot and thus establish right of way—but not all parking lots have these guides. As a general rule, a driver who fails to yield or stop at a stop sign is at fault in any resulting accident.
Types of Parking lot Car Accidents
When it comes to driving in parking lots, there are several accidents that happen most frequently. This is largely due to how most parking lots are laid out. They are also a result of basic driving mechanics and bad timing. Let’s take a look and see how these accidents happen (from your perspective) and how we can identify the driver at fault.
Another Driver and I Backed into Each Other
Both drivers are moving, which makes them each responsible for their actions. Neither driver has the right of way and each driver is responsible for ensuring that the movement of their vehicle won’t result in an accident. In this scenario both drivers would be at fault (though some insurers will label the accident as “no-fault”. When it comes to filing a claim with your insurance company, each driver’s payout will come from their own insurance company.
Another Driver Pulls Out Into Traffic from their Parking Space
At some point you’ve either been the guy in the parking space or the other guy. It’s incredibly common and after all, it’s hard to see around the SUV parked next to you when you’re driving a Mini Cooper. In this scenario, the person pulling out of the parking space is usually at fault. It’s their responsibility to yield to moving traffic, even if they can’t see oncoming cars. It’s possible both cars are responsible since both cars were moving, but it’s not a common outcome.
Another Driver Backs Out of a Parking Space into Your Car
Similar to the previous scenario, both cars are moving so it’s again possible that both cars are at fault. Of course, the way it tends to work out is that the car backing out of the parking space is liable. When it comes to handling your insurance claim, typically the each driver’s insurance company will pay their own claim (as opposed to the other driver’s insurance paying their claim).
Two Drivers Collide while trying for the Same Space
Who’s at fault? Again, good chance of both drivers being at fault, but most of the time the driver who has to cross the stream of traffic to take the parking space is the one that’s liable. That means the driver who had to turn left to take the space is most likely to be at fault. Other factors such as the point of impact on the vehicles will be used as a determining factor since that information could reveal that one driver was mostly in the space or was already turning into it when another driver tried to take it. If this scenario happens to you, take pictures to provide your insurer if you feel you were not at fault.
Another Car Rear-Ends You at a Stop Sign
This fender bender is common just about everywhere. Despite being large and red, people sometimes fail to see stop signs, which often results in a car accident where the driver who gets hit is free of fault. The driver who failed to stop in time is typically at fault here.
Right of Way Parking Lot Accidents
They happen. Most of them don’t require a police report, but if you find the other driver involved to be aggressive or if they appear to be under the influence, it’s probably a good idea to give the police a call. Always take photos if you can and always report car accidents to your insurance company.