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Parking Lot Accidents And Who Is At Fault

Florida motorists have to be careful. Every year, the state sees an average of just under 250,000 accidents – about 680 every single day. Thanks to the confusing and sometimes frustrating PIP laws in the state, it can be difficult enough just to figure out who owes whom and where fault lies. But with traffic accidents on the open road, determining fault is usually a fairly straightforward process, at least in most cases.

But what about parking lots? The number of parking lot car accidents that happen in Florida is much higher than most people realize, and despite the low rate of speed that is usually involved, there are still property damage – and sometimes personal injuries – issues that have to be addressed. Determining who is at fault in a parking lot accident is far more confusing and complex than standard accidents, and as such it’s usually a good idea to trust in a professional car crash lawyer when an accident occurs.

However, that auto accident attorney isn’t going to be there when the accident initially happens. In order to make certain that you do all you can to help with the process of determining fault, a few simple steps can be followed. Keep the following things in mind after an auto accident.

  • Don’t Move! – And try not to let the other party move, at least until you have the chance to take photographs of the accident scene. Do this even if the other party is admitting that they were at fault. Photos from several different angles will help more than almost anything else when it comes to determining fault in a case like this.
  • Determine Injuries – While a parking lot accident usually involves a fairly low rate of speed, it is still a good idea to take a minute to check you and your passengers for injuries. Under Florida PIP law, you only have a short period of time to seek help and remain coverage, so make certain that you know what injuries exist. Additionally, the longer you wait, the less chance you have of getting the compensation you’re owed for your injuries.
  • Move Your Vehicle – After you’ve taken a couple of photos, and if it is still operational and you’re physically able, move your vehicle out of traffic. If you’re in a part of the parking lot where traffic flow isn’t an issue, this may not be necessary.
  • Exchange Info – Get the information of the other driver so you have everything you need to protect yourself and potentially seek restitution. Get their insurance info, their phone number, their name, their tag number, their driver’s license number, and any other pertinent info that you can get from them.
  • Talk to Witnesses – Be sure to talk to anyone who saw the accident, and get their contact information in case you need to talk to them at a later date or time about the accident.
  • Talk to the Police – While in some cases it may seem like a good idea to leave the police out of the accident, you’re better off getting them involved. They’ll help file a report, interview witnesses, and generally make certain that everything is recorded properly for insurance companies.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company – Speaking of insurance companies, be sure that you speak to them as soon as you can. If there are any damages to your vehicle or you, you’ll want to let them know what is going on.
  • Talk to an Auto Accident Attorney – Finally, contact an auto accident attorney and discuss with them what happened. They’ll likely want all the info you can give them, which all of the above points will provide. If they feel you have a case, they will offer you representation.

How do you know if you do have a case, exactly? It’s difficult to say. In general, parking lot accidents are a tricky area of the law. If any traffic violations were made during the accident, that will usually be used to determine fault. If a vehicle strikes a parked vehicle that is legally parked, its driver will be at fault. Sometimes, insurance companies agree to split the fault evenly.

In reality, the best option for determining parking lot accident fault is simply to talk to a professional auto accident attorney. They’ll be able to help you figure out whether or not you have the grounds to seek compensation from another party, and help you by representing you if they feel you have a case. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Parking Lot Accidents And Who Is At Fault

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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