Car Accidents in Parking Lots: How to Determine Fault

May 13, 2024

You may think that parking lot car accidents aren’t a common occurrence but the numbers will surprise you. While parking lot crashes don’t usually result in serious injuries, they can contribute to extensive property damage. Establishing faults in such scenarios depends on examining the actions of the driver(s) involved and reviewing the conditions that could have contributed to a crash.

Working with a Camden car accident attorney is very important, especially if fault is difficult to establish or the guilty driver cannot be identified.

Common Causes of Parking Lot Car Accidents

There are over 50,000 crashes occurring in parking lots and garages across the U.S. every year. These accidents cause 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths per year.

Figuring out what has contributed to the car crash will allow for the easier establishment of fault. Some of the common reasons why parking lot accidents occur include:

  • Distracted driving, texting, using a phone: One-third of drivers acknowledge being distracted while operating a vehicle in a parking lot. Over 44 percent of the drivers aged 18 to 24 admit to texting or using their phone while driving in a parking lot.
  • Limited visibility due to multiple blind spots in a parking lot or a garage
  • High speed, especially if the parking lot is full
  • Maneuverability issues and the challenges related to navigating tight spaces

South Carolina traffic laws apply to driving in parking lots and garages. Unfortunately, the parking lot speed limits aren’t legally regulated – a legislative omission that can contribute to a higher risk of accidents in many instances.

How Fault Is Determined in Camden Parking Lot Accidents

An experienced South Carolina car accident attorney will review the specifics of your case to determine the types of evidence required to establish fault.

Some of the most common parking lot fault scenarios include the following:

  • Whenever someone backs up into a parked vehicle, the fault is almost always theirs
  • Whenever someone pulls out in front of another vehicle unexpectedly, the fault will almost always be theirs
  • Having two vehicles attempting to enter the same spot without being vigilant will typically result in shared responsibility for the crash
  • Whenever a driver fails to yield the right of way, they will typically be considered responsible for the crash.

many car crashes take place in parking lots

Steps Used to Establish Fault

Reviewing the evidence is essential to establish fault. Video footage and witness testimonies can paint a clear picture of exactly what happened.

Sometimes, one of the car drivers will be clearly responsible (if they were speeding, they didn’t honor a stop sign, or they didn’t yield to the vehicle on the right, for example). Sometimes, a pedestrian will be the faulty party, especially if they didn’t use a designated path or if they’re walking erratically.

In some more complicated scenarios, the parking lot owner or operator could be considered the party responsible for a crash.

Parking lots that have a dangerous layout or ones that are missing traffic regulation signs can create conditions for the occurrence of preventable crashes. In those situations, an experienced Camden car accident attorney will pursue legal action against the parking lot owner. Such legal action is also reasonable for parking lots that aren’t maintained in optimal condition (featuring potholes or a broken curb).

What to Do if You Are at Fault

South Carolina is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if you are dealing with significant damage because of a parking lot crash, you could be considered at least partially responsible for the crash.

It’s also possible for you to be the one completely at fault.

Exchanging insurance information with the other party involved in the crash is vital. You should never abandon the scene because you could be charged with hit and run later on.

Over 20 Years of Experience in Camden Car Accident Representation

An experienced legal team that specializes in crashes will advise you every step of the way following a parking lot car accident.

At Connell Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience and extensive legal resources that allow us to handle a multitude of car accident cases. Contact us now at 803-310-5700 for a free case review.