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Parking lot accidents 101: Who is at fault?

Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, is next week. While Black Friday can be exhilarating, it can also be stressful, especially when car accidents occur in shopping center parking lots.

Following a parking lot accident, it can be difficult to determine which driver was liable because not all drivers are aware of the right-of-way rules.

There’s an old wives’ tale out there that both drivers are equally at fault when accidents occur in parking lots, but that usually isn’t true. Typically, liability can vary greatly and depends on how the accident occurred. 

Here are a couple of common parking lot accident scenarios and who might have been at fault:

Example #1: Your car was hit by another vehicle that was backing out of a parking stall. In most cases, the driver who was backing out will be at fault no matter if your car was stopped or moving at the time. However, if you were both backing out at the same time, you could both be liable.

Example #2: Your car was legally parked when it was hit by another driver. In this scenario, it is usually the other driver who hit your parked car who was at fault. If the driver hit your car and left, it could be considered a hit-and-run.

Example #3: You hit another vehicle after the other driver rolled through a parking lot stop sign. Stop signs in parking lots must be treated like those on the streets, so the other driver who failed to obey the stop sigh would likely be liable in this scenario.

Following a parking lot accident, your insurance provider will likely determine who was at fault based on fault determination rules. However, if you don’t agree with the insurance company’s determination, you can always appeal it.

In our next post, we will discuss the steps to take following a parking lot accident in order to make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve. 

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