Have you sustained an injury in an accident in a Las Vegas parking lot? According to the National Safety Council, tens of thousands of car accidents occur in parking lots and parking garages each year. People use Las Vegas parking lots at all times of the day and night. Many accidents occur at low speeds and are fender benders. But some parking lot accidents result in more serious injuries, especially those collisions involving pedestrians.
If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, the personal injury attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law are here to help you understand your legal options. Our experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys have seen firsthand the serious injuries and hardship that parking lot accidents can cause. We know how to investigate parking lot accidents and identify who is at fault, a necessary step to seeking compensation for your injuries. The insurance company representing the at-fault driver should pay for your medical bills and related losses after a parking lot accident.
Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents
There are numerous scenarios that lead to parking lot collisions. They include:
- Two cars colliding due to one driver’s failure to yield – Drivers may get confused about who has the right of way in a parking lot. Drivers in the through lanes of a parking lot generally have the right of way. Drivers in the parking lanes generally must yield to vehicles in the through lanes. When a driver fails to yield, the driver may be found at fault for a parking lot collision.
- Hitting a parked or stopped car – This is the most common type of parking lot accident. It includes bumping an adjacent car and more serious incidents, such as rear-ending a car that is waiting to pull into a space. In these scenarios, the fault may lie with the driver of the moving car.
- Two cars hit each other when leaving their parking spots – Whether pulling forward or moving in reverse out of a parking spot, two cars can hit one another if either of them does not check to make sure it is safe to leave the parking space. One or both drivers may bear responsibility for the crash.
- Hitting a moving car when leaving a parking spot – Before leaving a parking spot, drivers must make sure the lane is clear and yield to any oncoming traffic. Those who fail to make sure the path is clear and are struck by a moving car may be at fault for causing the accident.
- Two cars collide when competing for the same parking spot – When two cars compete for a spot, they may collide unintentionally or intentionally, as one or both drivers act aggressively to grab the parking spot. Depending on specific factors, either driver or both may be at fault.
- Rear-end collision at parking lot exit – The entrance and exit of a parking lot is a frequent site of rear-end accidents.
- Hitting a pedestrian – Both drivers and pedestrians need to look out for one another in parking lots. People on foot in parking lots need to remain alert for cars backing out of parking spaces. Pedestrians should try to establish eye contact with drivers before stepping in front of oncoming vehicles. Drivers need to remain vigilant for people stepping out from behind parked cars in parking lots and pedestrians walking behind vehicles as they are backing up. Small children are particularly susceptible to being struck in parking lots because they are small and less visible. If a pedestrian was distracted by looking at their cell phone and was not paying attention, the pedestrian may be at fault.
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot accidents often happen when one party is not paying attention, fails to use appropriate caution, or drives aggressively. The following are frequent causes of parking lot accidents:
- Distracted drivers
- Speeding drivers
- Distracted pedestrians
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles
- Not checking both directions for oncoming traffic before pulling out of a parking space
- Pressing the wrong pedal, such as the gas pedal rather than the brake
- Icy or slick pavement
- Swerving to avoid other cars or debris, such as a shopping cart
Proving Fault in a Parking Lot Accident in Las Vegas, NV
Parking lots are typically private property. Las Vegas police generally do not respond to accidents on private property unless the accident involves significant injuries, serious property damage, or blocks the road. If the police do not respond to the accident scene, it’s a good idea to contact the police and file a report online.
The liability for a parking lot accident is evaluated in the same way as on public roadways. Liability will be determined by the degree of fault of each party involved. To determine fault, the car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the following:
- Right-of-way – Right-of-way rules work the same way in parking lots as they do on roadways. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to oncoming cars and comply with all parking lot signs. If one driver failed to yield, that driver will generally be found at fault for the accident.
- Contributing factors – Were there other factors that contributed to the accident, such as a distracted driver, a driver who was speeding, or a pedestrian who was inattentive? These factors could contribute to the accident.
How To Avoid Parking Lot Accidents
If you drive to work, take children to school, or run errands on a regular basis, you likely spend time in parking lots. People on foot, people pushing shopping carts, and drivers in moving vehicles converge in parking lots.
Here are some tips for avoiding parking lot accidents:
- Watch out for pedestrians
- Drive slowly
- Wear your seat belt
- Turn on your headlights
- Pay attention to and comply with all traffic signs
- Do not drive diagonally or cut across rows of parking spots
- Check all directions before pulling out or backing up
- Try to park in a less busy part of the parking lot
- Park in a spot that is appropriate for your vehicle’s size
- Use caution at night and in inclement weather
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Las Vegas, NV for Help
If you were injured in a parking lot accident due to someone else’s negligence in Las Vegas, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law. We want to do What’s Right for you. Call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.