Did you know that approximately one in five car accidents happens in a parking lot or garage?
When we think of car accidents, the first thing that comes to mind is two cars colliding on the road. But car accidents are not limited to public roads only. Even in private parking garages and parking lots, accidents can happen, and it becomes increasingly difficult to determine who is at fault.
Drivers are often so focused on finding the perfect spot for parking that they overlook negligent driving behavior which can lead to an accident. There are no parking lot car accident laws in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be held accountable if sufficient evidence is gathered against you.
Read our complete guide below to determine who is at fault in a Florida parking lot car accident. Let’s get started!
Traffic Laws Regarding Private Property Parking Lots
- Drivers have to follow all traffic signals and signs on private property or a public roadway.
- If the driver opens the car door and hits another vehicle, they are responsible for the damage.
- Drivers pulling out of a parking space need to check for traffic coming in all directions.
- Vehicles in a highway lane have the right of way rather than vehicles in parking lot lanes.
These laws can help you determine fault in Florida parking lot car accidents, but usually, the cases are not so simple.
Types Of Parking Lot Accidents
There are many reasons why accidents occur in parking lots, such as poor lighting, tight spaces, different rules, and regulations, etc. Since there are no standard rules to follow, parking lot car accidents occur in many ways. Following are some of the common examples:
Driver Backs Out On An Oncoming Car
When a driver pulls out of a parking space, they don’t pay attention to the incoming vehicle due to poor lighting or blind spots and thus collide with the oncoming vehicle. Similarly, when a vehicle is driving very fast, it ignores the car, backs out, and hits.
Two Cars Backing Up At The Same Time
When both drivers are moving out of a parking space simultaneously, a collision can happen. In such cases, both drivers don’t have the right of way under Florida law. They are equally responsible for the accident unless you can show solid evidence that shows one driver displayed negligent behavior.
Two Cars Entering The Same Space
If two cars are rushing for the same space, a collision can occur. It is difficult to determine fault in such cases as both drivers played their part. To avoid such instances, parking lots have a one-way driving lane.
Aside from these, there are many other ways parking lot car accidents can happen, such as:
- A driver moves in the wrong direction and collides with an oncoming car or traffic.
- A driver backing out of a parking space doesn’t see the pedestrian walking behind.
- A driver pulls forward out of a parking space and into oncoming traffic.
- A driver opens the vehicle door just as another car enters the parking space beside it.
How To Determine Fault In A Parking Lot Car Accident?
In Florida, the parking lot car accident rules are similar to regular car accidents for determining fault. Florida law looks at negligence behaviors to see which driver was at fault and could have avoided the collision if they had been paying attention. You need to gather sufficient evidence, file a report, and ask yourself the following questions to see if the driver, pedestrian, or both vehicles were at fault.
- Was any party speeding while backing out or entering the parking lot?
- Was any party texting and driving at the same time?
- Was any party drunk driving?
- Was any party going against the traffic rules?
- Was the harm intentional?
- Did both parties take time to look around and then proceed?
How To Get Compensated In A Florida Parking Lot Car Accident?
Florida is a no-fault state. Thus car accidents, either on parking lots or public roadways, with minor injuries and damages require each person involved to cover damages with their insurance.
Each driver is required to hold PIP insurance of $10,000. Suppose the damages exceed this limit or the car accident falls outside Florida’s no-fault system. In that case, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to receive compensation for its losses.
To get compensated, you need to:
File A Police Report
You need to immediately file a police report after a parking lot car accident, especially if the damage exceeds $500. The police might not be able to resolve the case or determine fault, but they can create a detailed police report by talking to witnesses, gathering evidence, and CCTV footage.
Build A Solid Case
If the police do not file a report, you need to create your own statement by taking pictures of the damaged vehicles and license plate numbers. Moreover, you should also exchange information with the people involved. Lastly, you need to hire professional car accident lawyers to help put your case together and help you get maximum compensation.
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Can More Than One Person Be At Fault?
Under the comparative law, more than one person can be responsible for a parking lot car accident in Florida. If the evidence suggests that both parties were at fault and followed negligence driving behavior, then the liability will be shared, and the compensation will be divided between them.
Moreover, property owners can also be held accountable for accidents in their parking lots. If the parking lot was poorly designed and maintained, had blind spots, confusing directions, and more that led to the accident, they have to cover the compensation.
Why Do You Need To Consult Car Accident Lawyers?
When they are in a car accident, the biggest mistake people make is not hiring professional car accident lawyers. By not consulting professionals, you can admit fault, provide false information, and lose your insurance and claim because of not being well-versed in Florida laws and knowing how to proceed.
Contact Miami Car Accident Lawyers if you are in a parking lot car accident. Their experienced lawyers provide free case evaluation and guidance on legal options. They help you in every step of the process and ensure your claim for insurance companies is solid. Miami car accident lawyers help you gather evidence, and handle communication and negotiations, to obtain a favorable settlement.
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