Parking Lot Accidents And Injuries Spike During The Holidays
A Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Discusses the Dangers
Parking lots may seem tame, but they are frequently the site of bad car accidents — especially around the holidays.
In fact, car insurance companies say that claims start to spike on Black Friday and continue throughout the holiday season.
Each year, tens of thousands of car accidents happen in parking lots and garages that result in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths, according to research by the National Safety Council.
How Do Parking Lot Accidents Happen?
Parking lot accidents can happen in different ways. For example, a parking lot accident can occur when:
- A pedestrian gets hit by a car
- Two or more cars are involved in a collision
- A person slips, trips, and falls due to hazards on the property
Distraction is often a major factor in parking lot and parking garage accidents, the NSC survey found. People may assume that because parking lots aren’t roadways, the risk of being involved in a traffic accident is low. It’s a false sense of security.
Parking Lot Distractions
In a national opinion poll, the NSC sought to find out drivers’ attitudes toward unsafe driving behavior.
The results show which bad driving behaviors people admit to as well as those they condemn. It turns out that a lot of drivers have a lax attitude toward safe driving in parking lots. Survey respondents said they feel comfortable doing the following activities while driving in a lot or garage:
- Making phone calls — 66%
- Programming a GPS system — 63%
- Texting — 56%
- Sending or receiving emails — 50%
- Taking photos or watching videos — 49%
Drivers have a responsibility to remain attentive at all times. When motorists are inattentive, especially in a parking lot or parking garage, the risk of causing an accident increases.
Safe Driving and Parking Lots
There are things people can do to help reduce their chances of causing a parking lot accident. The NSC suggests that driving slowly is not enough, and drivers should also:
- Stay in lanes. Avoid cutting across lots and parking spaces.
- Use directional signals while driving slowly.
- Anticipate the actions of other drivers.
- Obey stop signs and no-parking signs.
- Be mindful of pedestrians and other vehicles, especially when backing out of a parking space.
- Watch out for small children and parents with baby strollers.
Who Is At Fault in a Parking Lot Accident?
Proving fault in a parking lot accident can be complicated, and liability is not always “50/50.” Fault in parking lot crashes often comes down to two things: right of way and negligence.
- Right of way — In general, the vehicle in the throughway has the right of way and other cars should yield to them accordingly. There are exceptions to this rule, however. An experienced attorney can help a parking lot accident victim understand how the law applies specifically to their situation as well as their legal options.
- Negligence — To successfully file a claim for negligence, a victim must prove that the at-fault person owed them a “duty of care” (an obligation to prevent harm to others), that duty was breached, this failure to meet the standard of care led to the victim’s injuries, and, finally, those injuries caused the victim to incur a loss.
Premises Liability in Slip and Falls
Property owners and managers are required to maintain their premises and keep the property reasonably safe for customers, but that doesn’t always happen in parking lots and parking garages.
Slip and fall accidents are common in parking lots and are often due to hazards such as:
- Ice and snow
- Litter, trash, debris
- Poor lighting
- Inadequate signage/markings
- Potholes, loose gravel, chunks of pavement
Those who fail to regularly inspect and maintain their premises put others at risk of getting hurt.
Legal Help Is Available
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that took place in a parking lot or parking garage, schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm to get a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
At Villari, Giannone and Matteo, our attorneys know how to build strong cases and hold people accountable for their negligence. Whether it’s in settlement negotiations or in the courtroom, we will aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today.
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