If you have been a victim in a parking lot car accident, there’s a tendency to think that it’s a minor issue and that you might not be able to file a personal injury claim.
Do not minimize what happened in the accident. It’s a good idea to evaluate all your choices without giving up on a claim before you start. Read on to learn more about parking lot car accidents.
The Occurrence of Parking Lot Car Accident
Did you know that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one in five car accidents happen in commercial parking lots? Many of these are simple incidents of property damage since the speed of the cars is much slower than on a highway, but that is not always the case.
In a worst-case scenario, these accidents can even result in serious injuries or death. For this reason, parking lot car accidents in Jacksonville should not be overlooked as the foundation for a personal injury claim.
Since parking lot accidents tend to have a reputation for being minor, drivers and pedestrians sometimes have a false sense of the risks. A pedestrian or driver who is distracted might only lose focus for a moment, but this moment can be fatal.
What Causes the Most Severe Injuries?
At their worst, a parking lot car accident can involve hitting a pedestrian, for example. If the victim is lucky enough to survive an accident like this, then he or she might have symptoms for days, weeks, or months following the accident. Some of these symptoms include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones and fractures
- Swollen or torn muscles, ligaments, tendons
Why Parking Lots Are Problematic
Perhaps the biggest reason why parking lot accidents occur is because of a lack of traffic signals. Since cars in a parking lot are often moving at slower speeds, businesses or property owners don’t feel it’s necessary to put up traffic signs.
If signals are posted or speed bumps are finally installed, this is usually done as a reactionary measure because some kind of accident has already occurred.
Another issue in parking lots is that there’s very little enforcement. While some bigger commercial ventures, like shopping malls, can pay security vehicles to roam the parking lot, this is not always the case.
Smaller locations don’t have the funds to do this. But it doesn’t make laws about stopping at stop signs or other traffic signals any less valid. The fact that drivers might feel like they can get away with this behavior, however, is a big reason why parking lot accidents happen at all.
How to Handle a Parking Lot Car Accident
It’s important to remember that a parking lot accident is not any different from any other car accident. You need to notify the authorities and your insurance company as soon as it happens.
This is true even if you suspect that the damage is minor or that your injuries are not serious. The scene immediately after an accident can be deceptive. Get your car checked out and yourself checked out, too. Some injuries from a car accident might not be obvious until a few hours later.
Never agree to work with a driver who wants to settle things between the two of you. This can expose you to serious risk if you give them money or take money from them. Instead, speak with your insurance company about the accident by filing the claim properly.
Then, have your case evaluated by a Jacksonville attorney experienced in parking lot car accidents. You might have the best of intentions, but it’s always smart to have your own legal counsel in these situations before you agree to something that might hurt you in the long run.
Speak with a Good Parking Lot Car Accident Attorney
If you decide to file a claim, you may need to collect evidence and speak to witnesses. In some parking lots, security cameras might have captured the incident.
Your attorney can help you figure out your next steps and how to present a compelling case in court. Schedule a legal consultation as soon as possible after your parking lot accident.
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What constitutes a personal injury?
The most common personal injury is an auto accident, but the broad definition encompasses any situation where a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Early identification of a personal injury is important to the legal process. Many serious injuries occur each year involving:
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability accidents such as injuries caused by a slip and fall
– Medical malpractice/nursing home injuries
– Wrongful death
– Work-related accidents
– Animal attacks
– Faulty or malfunctioning products (product liability)