Parking Lot Accidents – A Danger in Colorado Springs?
Most people think parking lots are relatively safe, especially when it comes to car accidents. Sure, there might be an occasional fender bender, but they occur at such low speeds—we assume they can’t cause too much damage.
But complacency is the reason parking lot accidents have the potential to be extremely dangerous.
Parking lot accidents often create more difficulties for drivers, law enforcement, insurance companies, and, most particularly, victims when it comes to trying to resolve who was at fault and how to get compensation. While the laws that govern right-of-way are established on Colorado roadways, the rules are less clear in parking lots.
If you have been injured in a parking lot accident in Colorado Springs, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can work with you to assess your situation and build a winning case so you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Most Common Parking Lot Accidents
Roads and intersections tend to be uniform, but there is great diversity in the way parking lots are designed. However, certain types of accidents occur frequently.
One common situation is when two cars back into each other at the same time. This typically happens when two drivers are backing out of parking spaces opposite each other into the same lane of travel. Neither is able to see the other and a collision ensues. In such a case, likely both drivers would be at fault.
It is also common for one car to back out of a parking spot into a car that’s moving through the traffic lane. Generally, the driver of the car already moving does not have time to react. Another almost identical situation involves a car pulling forward rather than reversing from a parking spot. Likewise, any oncoming car is unable to react in time before colliding. While it might be tempting to place more blame on the driver who’s pulling out of a parking spot, the drivers may be equally at fault. In general, a car already in the traffic lane has right-of-way over a car pulling out of a parking space, but it is incumbent on that driver to ensure the way is clear before proceeding.
Another scenario involves two cars that collide as they enter the same parking space. This generally happens because both drivers feel they have the right to the space and neither is willing to yield. Fault is not generally determined by who reached the spot first, but by who was turning right into the space versus who was turning left, across traffic. As with an intersection, the driver turning across traffic must yield to oncoming vehicles.
Finally, we often see accidents that involve one car stopping suddenly, whether for a stop sign, another vehicle, or a pedestrian, and the car behind rear-ending it. In this situation, the fault will almost certainly lie with the second vehicle. Drivers need to leave ample following space to avoid collisions if the car in front of them must stop suddenly.
Pedestrians Are at Risk, Too
While minor car collisions happen frequently in parking lots, the real danger is to pedestrians. The spaces are often tight, and drivers may be focused on looking for a space or distracted by a device of some kind. It’s typical for drivers to think it’s all right to check their phone or fiddle with their radio before they get onto the actual roads, not realizing driving in parking lots requires just as much focus.
Parking lots have plenty of sharp turns, narrow lanes, and tight corners. It can be very difficult for drivers to spot pedestrians among all the cars, or while backing up. Studies actually have found that parking lots may be one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, in 2013, 30% of pedestrian accidents in the region took place in parking lots.
Being hit by a car, even if it isn’t moving quickly, can cause devastating injuries for a pedestrian. Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are, there’s nothing you can do if an inattentive driver comes barreling into you. That’s why victims need to have strong and aggressive representation to fight for the compensation they are entitled to.
If you or a loved one was injured while walking in a parking lot, do not assume the insurance company will have your best interests at heart. You need an experienced Colorado Springs car accident attorney that will advocate on your behalf every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation by contacting The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., at (719) 475-2555 today.