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As the holiday season hits full swing, millions of shoppers will be heading to stores hurdling to get their holiday to-do lists finalized. Even in unprecedented times, Connecticut shoppers have a duty to exercise caution in parking lots. During the holiday season, parking lots see an uptick of incidents and become highly dangerous for motorists and pedestrians. A growing number of catastrophic injuries, unfortunately, occur in parking lots due to motorists’ ineptitude and lack of concentration. Motorists establish a false sense of security within parking lots which is not as common in highways and local roads. Parking lot accidents are more common than you think. In 2019 alone, the National Highway Association reported that about one in five accidents occur within parking lots. Nearly, 14% of all insurance injury claims filed each year occur in parking garages or parking lots, the report details. Even though such numbers are abhorrently high, a vast amount of incidents that occur in parking lots are left unreported. Many drivers believe their claim wouldn’t be worth it, and this couldn’t be further than the truth.
Determining negligence in parking lots can be difficult. It’s important to distinguish the facts early on when faced with an accident in a parking lot. There are typically two factors that will
help in determining the at-fault party’s liability in a parking lot accident. While it’s important to understand these conditions, it is vital to get in contact with an experienced car accident attorney that has worked on countless parking lot cases. Determining negligence follows a strict set of guidelines, having some idea of them can save you time and money.
Did the motorist have the right of way?
Parking lots are notorious for having limited to no traffic signs. Therefore, it is the duty of a motorist to observe these conditions even if they are not placed within a parking lot. Failing to yield at stops signs and driving above the required speed limit within a parking lot will help in determining the at-fault party. If both motorists are operating a vehicle, one driver typically has the right of way which in some cases determines fault. It is important to note that although the above conditions can be met, a thorough investigation will still need to be conducted when determining fault.
Proving negligence in a parking lot accident can be challenging. In a location with various causative factors, getting the facts right away will help in proving negligence. One of the most important factors in proving negligence is a police report. A police report will hold significant weight in filing an auto accident injury claim in Connecticut as complies a large amount of information from the incident by a third party. After the accident, ensure you never admit fault or point the blame on the other driver. Keeping calm and ensuring your safety should be of utmost priority. Gathering insurance information, vehicle registration, photos, witness statements, and contact information will be essential to your case.
Was One Vehicle in Operation?
In most cases, liability can be determined solely based on whether one vehicle is in operation while the other was parked. If an accident occurs after an operational vehicle hits a parked vehicle, the at-fault party is the moving vehicle in most cases. Of course, numerous factors could change who is at fault in such a case. That is why our team follows a strict set of guidelines when investigating the liability of injury claims before jumping to conclusions. Also, don’t fall for billboard attorneys’ empty language when it comes to the value of your case, in fact, such messages toward a client are counterproductive. Contact Attorney James A. Welcome for an honest and free parking lot injury consultation.
Facts Should Always Come First
The National Safety Council recently conducted an opinion poll with motorists citing distracted driving tendencies within parking lots. Nearly 66% of motorists admit to using technological devices while driving within parking lots. It is important for Connecticut drivers to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings when in parking lots. Following the below safety tips can keep both pedestrians and motorists safe in parking lots.
Safety Tips in Parking lots for Drivers
- Use directional signals at all times. When backing out of space, use your hazard lights to ensure all pedestrians are aware of you backing out.
- Anticipate the actions of other drivers and be cautious about any sudden changes.
- Avoid using technological devices when operating vehicles. It’s against the law and will severely impact your case.
- Use caution and drive slowly within a parking lot. Check your vehicle mirrors frequently and always give the right of way to a pedestrian in a parking lot.
- Avoid the front of the parking lot closest to the store. Pedestrians are more common in these areas while tending to walk freely.
- Don’t park in tight spaces. This will help to avoid collisions or dents.
- Sometimes, parking further can be a better option to avoid negligent drivers.
Safety Tips in Parking lots for Pedestrians
- When crossing the road, use a crosswalk at all times. Never cross without looking both ways. Hold children’s hands while in a parking lot.
- Keep an eye out for cars leaving a parking space.
- Don’t walk too close to vehicles.
- Your phone should never be used while in a parking lot. Keep your head up at all times. Be vigilant and take the extra time and not rush while in a parking lot. Your health and safety matter.
- Walk facing traffic if no sidewalk is available. Pause at lanes of traffic and make eye contact with approaching vehicles.
For more tips, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
How the Insurance Company Determines Fault
Insurance companies typically take a strong investigative approach for all insurance claims. When determining the value of injuries for your claim, insurance companies will factor witness statements, surveillance footage, photos, and police reports in their determination of fault. Of course, there are other factors that will be investigated when determining fault and the value of your case. It’s important to stay clear and provide as much information as possible while reserving any statements at all costs.
After an accident, you may be contacted by the other party’s insurance adjuster. It is important not to communicate with the insurance adjuster as they will try to minimize the severity of your injuries and work in favor of their insured party.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Parking Lots
Slip and fall accidents are highly common in parking lots. In part, parking lots are notorious for little to no stripping, potholes, lack of signage for speed enforcement, poor lighting, and ice & snow which can lead to catastrophic injuries to pedestrians in Connecticut. Just because you may not be operating a vehicle does not discredit your parking lot injury claim.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in a parking lot, it is important to reach out to obtain effective legal representation before it’s too late. Attorney James A. Welcome will review the facts of your case for free, in our no-hassle personal injury consults. We help to ensure you get the results you deserve.
Focused on Your Parking Lot Injury Case
After an accident, your focus should always be on your recovery. At The Law Offices of James A. Welcome we understand the complications and impacts that a parking lot accident can have on you emotionally, physically, and especially financially. As healthcare costs continue to rise in the United States, our team has been determined in recovering the highest possible amount for our injured clients. Determining fault in parking lot accidents can be a challenging process, but with the legal backing of an experienced New England Super Lawyer, you can rest assured knowing your case will always be a priority. Our team believes in delivering justice on behalf of our clients. Reach out today to secure the just compensation you deserve.