Parking lot car accidents in Las Vegas are nearly as common as accidents that take place on the roadways. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has stated that 20% of all car accidents occur in private parking lots.
Many drivers are not sure what to do when they are in a parking lot car accident. Many wonder if they should call the police and if insurance will still pay for damage because these parking lot accidents are most typically on private property. Understanding what to do if you are in a parking lot accident will help you get the help you need faster.
Determining Fault in a Parking Lot
Determining fault is accomplished by understanding who the negligent party is (or who was at fault). The negligent party is sometimes easy to determine. For example, if you were hit from behind, it is fairly clear that you were not at fault. However, if the impact was at the front of both vehicles or at the back of both vehicles, determining who is at fault is much more challenging.
There are some rules that are unique to parking lots. For example, parking lot isles do not generally have stop signs. If no stop sign exists, vehicles are still required to stop before moving from one isle to the next. In addition, some lanes are intended to be one way only, marked only by arrows, or not marked at all. If a car is traveling the wrong way down a one-way parking lane and they strike your car, that driver will be responsible for any damage to your car or injuries to your person.
In addition to other cars, there are always people walking around and other hazards (like shopping carts). If you are driving, it will be your responsibility to look out for pedestrians and other obstacles that might be in your way. In these cases you should always yield.
Insurance Coverage in Parking Lot Accidents
As long as you have appropriate coverage, your insurance policy should cover you for accidents that occur in a parking lot. Additionally, most of the time the other driver’s insurance should also cover any collisions if they were at fault.
Insurance companies will not discriminate against accidents that occurred on private property (such as parking lots) or accidents that occur on public roadways. In either scenario the insurance company will manage the claim the exact same way. They will conduct an investigation into the accident, determine who is at fault and then pay for the property or personal injury.
Make a Report
If you were injured by a person driving a vehicle in a Las Vegas parking lot, you should attempt to call the police. It is not likely that they will respond, but if they do they will be able to make a report for you. If the police do not respond, you can always file your own report with the police by going down to the police station.
Additionally, if there is private security at the parking lot it is likely that they will be able to make a report for you that you can provide to your insurance company. In this report they should collect the drivers’ names and contact information. If the security company does not provide you with the incident report, your attorney can always subpoena it in a lawsuit.
Parking Lot Car Accident Injuries
Parking lot accidents can be as simple as a small fender bender. A parking lot accident can also be serious enough that the injuries from the accident could be life threatening.
Additionally, if you are a pedestrian that was injured by a driver your injuries could be very severe. These types of accidents are called “backing-over” injuries, and they can be among the most serious injuries. Common injuries from being backed over include cuts, bruises, broken bones, or even concussions. Serious injuries from being backed over could include paralysis or even death if vital organs were injured in the accident.
If you were injured in a parking lot, and it was not your fault you should speak with an attorney who can advise you of your rights. At Parry & Pfau you will be able to speak with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney. If you call 702-912-4451 we can schedule a free consultation for you.
Matt Pfau is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau. Matt has a background in business consulting, estate planning, business start-ups and bankruptcy and is licensed to practice in both Nevada and California. A partner in the firm Parry & Pfau, he can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.