When it comes to
car accidents on public roadways (streets and highways), insurance companies can usually
determine fault by looking at which driver violated the rules of the road.
For example, in a side-impact crash, usually the at-fault driver is the
one who blew through a stop sign, ran a red light, or turned left in front
of an oncoming vehicle.
But what about car accidents in parking lots where the rules are vague?
As far as car accidents in parking lots are concerned, the good news is
that people are usually driving slower, or at least they’re supposed
to be. In a low-speed crash in a parking lot, the property damage and
injuries should be minor compared to a crash that occurs on the street
where posted speed limits are higher.
Just because cars are driving slower in parking lots, that doesn’t
necessarily make them safe or accident-free. The problem with parking
lots is that people are driving in every direction. They’re pulling
in and out of parking spaces, fighting over parking spots, driving around
each other, starting and stopping, and trying to avoid striking
pedestrians. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell which car has the “right of way.”
So, in the event of a parking lot accident, it can be difficult to know
which driver is responsible for a car accident. In this post, we shed
light on parking lot collisions and how to tell which driver is likely
liable for a parking lot accident.
Right-of-Way Rules in a Parking Lot
If you’re like most people, you drive in a parking lot at least once
a week, if not every day. After all, most people visit their local grocery
store, Wal-Mart or Target on a regular basis. If you lead an active lifestyle,
you might even hit a local gym most days of the week. So, you have ample
opportunities to drive in parking lots.
In the typical parking lot, there are rows of parking spaces with driving
lanes throughout the parking lot. As a standard rule, when a vehicle is
driving in a through lane, it has the right of way, and the drivers who
are approaching these through lanes, must wait for the drivers in the
through lanes to pass before entering.
Let’s say a car (Driver B) is in the through lane, heading towards
the street. Meanwhile, Driver A enters the through lane while trying to
exit a parking lane, causing a crash with Driver B in the through lane.
In this scenario, Driver A would likely be found liable for the crash.
However, if Driver B failed to obey a stop or yield sign, which gives
the right of way to vehicles exiting the parking lanes, then Driver B
would could be found liable.
“Are Pedestrians Covered by Uninsured Motorist?”
To learn more about parking lot accidents and liability,
contact our firm to meet with a Long Island
personal injury lawyer.