Parking garages and parking lots can temporarily house dozens or even hundreds of vehicles a day. With such a large number of drivers entering and exiting, circling for a closer spot, and pulling into and backing out of parking spaces, the risk of a parking lot accident is fairly high. Although they can take place at any time, a report by the National Safety Council shows that parking lot accident rates increase during the holiday season. If you were injured in a parking lot or parking garage accident through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to collect financial compensation. Call the experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule your free consultation.
How Do Parking Lot Accidents Happen?
The number one cause of car accidents in parking lots is driver negligence. This usually comes in the form of:
- Distracted driving
- Not keeping to the right
- Failure to obey traffic signs resulting in T-bone and wrong-way collisions
- Failure to look for passing vehicles and pedestrians before backing out of a parking spot and backing up too quickly
- Parking in non-designated areas such as fire lanes, buggy corrals, and loading bays
The condition and design of the garage or lot can also increase the odds of an accident. Broken or cracked asphalt or pavement, dimly lit intersections, inadequate or missing signage from exits and entrances, and roadway hazards such as potholes and huge snow piles can also contribute to parking lot accidents.
The hazards of a poorly maintained or designed parking garage or lot present additional dangers outside of car accidents. Lots that are poorly maintained can pose slip or trip-and-fall risks, and insufficient lighting in lots, garages, and stairwells can lead to thefts and assaults.
Who is Most Likely to Be Injured in a Parking Lot Accident?
When a car accident occurs in a parking lot, pedestrians tend to be the most vulnerable while young children are at the greatest risk of a serious injury. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia states that children two years of age and younger represent the largest number of pedestrians injured in driveways, streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. This is most likely due to the fact that children that young are too small to be easily seen by most drivers.
In lots and garages that are connected to retail outlets and other businesses, employees are also at risk. For instance, grocery store employees are often required to collect the store’s buggies from the corrals as well as from the perimeter of the lot and parking spaces. Cutting through and walking between parking spaces could make it difficult for a passing driver to notice an employee. Drivers impatient to leave or enter a lot might drive recklessly in an unsuccessful attempt to maneuver their way around the employee.
Am I Eligible for Damages for My Parking Lot Accident?
If someone else’s negligence caused your parking lot accident-related injury, you may be entitled to bring a claim for damages. Based on the severity of your injuries, you could be eligible for damages including:
- Current and anticipated medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If a family member was killed in a parking lot accident, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim. These damages may also include medical bills and lost wages, along with funeral and burial expenses, loss of society and companionship, mental anguish, sorrow, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Who is Liable for My Parking Lot Accident?
The majority of parking lot accidents are caused by negligent drivers. However, the condition of the premises could also play a role in your injury claim. As such, another driver and/or the operator or owner of the lot are likely to be held responsible. A skilled Virginia Beach car accident attorney will have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and correctly determine all liable parties.
Do You Need a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the reputable Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help. Since 1985, we have been producing successful results in Virginia car accident cases, such as the $1 million insurance settlement we secured for one of our clients after he was injured when another driver failed to yield before entering traffic. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our easy contact form. Our offices are in Virginia Beach, Hampton, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Chesapeake.