Parking Lot Accidents: Who’s At Fault?
Sept. 16, 2022
A fun weekend trip to the mall can become overwhelming when you arrive at a busy parking lot crowded with vehicles moving in all directions. With so many people trying to find a spot, it can be difficult to know exactly who has the right of way. One driver who doesn’t check before backing out of a spot can cause an accident resulting in thousands of dollars in vehicle damage.
Whether you were headed to the mall or just navigating the parking lot at your local bank when the accident happened, it’s important to know your rights. You have legal options when it comes to paying for the damages caused by a car accident.
At The Law Office of Steve Brannan, we are dedicated to treating our clients with compassion and fairness. We will work with you to pursue your best interests and fight for full, fair, and adequate compensation. We proudly represent clients in Odessa, Texas, as well as Midland, Big Spring, Pecos, Andrews, and throughout communities in West Texas.
Common Accidents in Parking Lots
When there’s an accident in a parking lot, it is usually caused by one of the following scenarios:
A driver in a parking spot backs into a driver navigating through the parking lot.
A driver rear-ends the vehicle in front of them.
A driver pulls forward through a parking spot and collides with another driver who is navigating through the parking lot.
Two drivers backing out at the same time back into each other.
Two drivers collide while fighting for the same parking spot.
Right of Way Rules
The driver who is driving through the parking lot has the right of way. However, if the driver using the through lane does not obey a stop or yield sign, then they may be liable for the accident. Drivers pulling out of parking spots must yield to drivers using through lanes. In most situations, the driver navigating through the parking lot has the right of way. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about right-of-way rules.
Who’s At Fault?
Determining who is at fault in a parking lot accident is key when you are filing a personal injury claim. In most situations, three parties could be at fault in a parking lot accident: the driver, a pedestrian, or the parking lot owner.
In many cases, the driver who was not using the through lane is the one who will be held at fault for the accident. This is usually the driver who was pulling into or out of a parking spot or a driver who was following the vehicle in front of them too closely.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians in parking lots. It does not matter if the pedestrian is not using a crosswalk; they have the right of way. However, if a pedestrian moves so quickly that it was impossible for the driver to see them, it may be possible that the pedestrian is at fault for the accident. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney to learn more.
Parking Lot Owner
It’s possible that the owner of the parking lot is at fault for the accident. If the parking lot was so poorly designed that it created dangerous driving conditions, you may have a case against the owner. Similarly, if the parking lot was not maintained and was in an unsafe condition when the accident happened, it may be possible to hold the parking lot owner legally responsible.
The Importance of Skilled Advocacy
Finding out exactly who was at fault in a parking lot accident can be confusing. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options. At our firm, The Law Office of Steve Brannan, we will work with you to help you seek the best possible outcome. Attorney Steve Brannan will bring over four decades of experience practicing law in West Texas to your case. We represent clients in Odessa, Texas, as well as Midland, Big Spring, Pecos, Andrews, and throughout communities in West Texas. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.