When people think of car accidents, their first thought is often a major crash on a highway or busy city street. The truth is, however, that car accidents can and do happen anywhere. In fact, one of the most common places collisions occur is parking lots. Any driver who has been in a busy parking lot can attest to how hectic it all can be, with drivers coming at you in all different directions, pedestrians walking in between vehicles, and shopping carts rolling away, all while trying to find and squeeze your vehicle in a small space. It’s no wonder that crashes occur as often as they do. Unfortunately, not only do those crashes result in damage to vehicles, but they often leave those involved with personal injuries.
There are many scenarios of parking lot accidents, but the following are the most common that a Virginia car accident attorney deals with.
When Two Vehicles Back into Each Other
Many drivers who park in parking lots have had the experience where they put their vehicle in reverse, look over their shoulder, and prepare to back out of a space – only to see that a vehicle parked across from you is doing the exact same thing. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always catch the other vehicle’s brake lights on or notice they are getting ready to back up, too. The next thing you know, both vehicles have smashed into each other.
Rear-End Collision at Stop Sign
Many large parking lots have multiple stop signs at intersections inside the lot or they have stop signs in designated areas so pedestrians can safely walk. Stop signs are also used to help keep vehicles at a safe speed. But an all-too-common scenario is when one vehicle stops at a sign but the driver in the vehicle behind them fails to also stop, often because they weren’t paying attention.
Merging into Traffic
Another common accident cause is when a driver pulls out of a parking space and just merges into a lane of traffic but fails to look or yield to the ongoing traffic.
Two Vehicles Pull into the Same Spot
This can become an issue when the parking lot is very full and vehicles are circling the lot, looking for an open space.
A majority of the parking lot cases that the Virginia car accident attorneys from our firm handle are often caused by either distracted driving or speeding. Many drivers are distracted from giving their full attention to driving because they are so busy looking for an empty space to park in. It is also important to remember that the speed limit in most parking lots is usually around five miles per hour.
To avoid being involved in a parking lot crash, it will help if you can remember these tips:
- Consider parking a little further away from the building you are going in. These spaces will likely be less congested, and you could decrease your risk of being in a parking lot accident.
- Make sure to always look behind you when pulling out of a space, as well as use your mirrors. Be aware of blind spots in mirrors.
- Make sure to use your turn signals when turning to let other drivers and pedestrians know what you are planning.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused.
We are dedicated and focused on getting our clients the full amount of damages they are entitled to for their injuries, like the $50,000 settlement we obtained for a client who suffered intense, chronic shoulder and neck pain (including a reaggravation of her prior shoulder injury when another motorist pulled out from a parking lot directly into the path of our client’s vehicle.