Busy parking lots, especially those found at grocery stores or malls, can be hazardous to navigate. Some parking lot accidents are very minor and involve only property damage, but I have also seen parking lot accidents where the collision occurred at a fairly high rate of speed. Pedestrians are also extremely vulnerable to being struck by an inattentive or distracted driver. Most parking lot accidents seem to happen when a driver is backing out of a parking spot, but can also occur when:
1. A driver fails to see a pedestrian or vice versa;
2. A driver pulls into the path of an oncoming car;
3. A driver is speeding through the parking lot; and
4. A driver fails to obey the signage posted in the parking lot.
How Can You Avoid Accidents in Parking Lots?
A parking lot may not seem dangerous, but it can be very hazardous. People at Publix do not seem to hesitate before crossing at any point in the parking lot. They seldom appear to be focused on the cars in the lot, but instead are focused on locating their vehicle, controlling their children or talking on a cell phone. Malls are even more hazardous as the pedestrians seem to travel in larger groups and pay even less attention to their surroundings. In my opinion, it is incumbent for drivers to be extra vigilant when traversing a parking lot and observe the following rules:
1. Do not speed;
2. Drive with caution;
3. Pay careful attention to pedestrians;
4. Watch for parked cars with occupants to back out;
5. Expect the unexpected; and
6. Watch and obey the signage in the parking lot.
What to do if You are in an Accident
If you are in an accident in a parking lot it is important that you understand what steps you need to take. When you are at the scene of a parking lot accident do the following:
1. If anyone is injured call 911;
2. If nobody is injured, call the police accident line and report the accident. The police will not always respond to private property, if this is the case it is extremely important to document the scene;
3. Exchange information with the other driver. Obtain their drivers license information, their insurance information and tag information. As a practical matter, I would advise writing down each and then photographing each;
4. Photograph both cars completely. Take lots of pictures of not only the damaged area, but all areas of the vehicles;
5. Photograph the scene completely;
6. Take more pictures than you think you will need; and
7. Obtain the personal information from any witnesses.
It may seem cumbersome, but parking lot accidents are among the most disputed by insurance companies. It makes good sense to take the time to document the accident in the beginning to avoid headaches later.
Contact Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bicycle, pedestrian or car accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707