Most Atlanta car accidents take place on the road. When a road accident occurs, it is typically easier to identify the at-fault party. This is possible thanks to eyewitnesses, skid marks on the road, visible damage on the vehicles, as well as other pieces of evidence. However, fault is harder to determine in accidents that take place in a parking lot. This is where an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help you.
Parking lot accidents differ from on-the-road accidents in many ways. Vehicles are typically traveling at a fairly slow rate of speed when in a parking space. As a result, if any crashes occur, the damage to the vehicles is not extensive. At the same time, injuries are relatively uncommon in parking lot crashes.
That being said, you will still need to sort the issue of fault before you have your vehicle repaired after an Atlanta parking lot accident. Here are some broad rules that are used to determine who the negligent and liable party is in a parking lot crash.
When you are in a parking lot, you may or may not have the right-of-way, depending on the location and position of your vehicle. In general, if you are traveling in the through lanes of the lot, you have the right-of-way. If you are driving in the through lanes and someone pulls out of the parking lanes, the other driver will be liable for damages. Conversely, if you were pulling out of a parking lane and collided with another vehicle already traveling in the through lanes, you will be held as negligent.
However, there are instances when the driver in the through lane has a ‘Stop’ sign. In this case, the driver in the through lane is obliged to stop and yield the right-of-way to other drivers who may be pulling out of parking lanes. If the driver in the through lane has a ‘Stop’ sign but continues to drive anyway, a crash that results will likely be held as the through lane driver’s fault.
Pulling Into a Spot
Many parking lot crashes occur when two drivers spot a parking space and both speed towards the spot to secure it. This can result in a collision between the two vehicles. In accidents like these, both drivers may share some of the fault. If you are one of the drivers at fault, you may still be able to recover some damages as long as your percentage of fault is 49% or less. If you are found 50% or more at fault, you will not be eligible for any damages under Georgia’s modified comparative fault law.
Pulling Out of a Spot
Parking lot crashes also commonly occur when two vehicles in opposite parking lanes pull out of their spots at the same time. This can result in significant damage to both vehicles. The fault will then be determined by looking at which driver acted in a negligent manner. If one of the drivers was already pulling out, the other driver had a duty to be careful and let the other driver pull out.
However, determining which driver pulled out first and which pulled out later can be somewhat complicated. In such a case, parking footage, vehicular damage, and eyewitness statements may be used to determine negligence.
Tips to Avoid an Atlanta Parking Lot Accident
It is fortunate that parking lot accidents usually do not result in any notable injuries. However, you may still suffer vehicle damage in such accidents which can set you back a significant amount of money. This is why it is always a good idea to avoid a parking lot crash in the first place. Here are some tips that can help you achieve this.
- Make sure you carefully look around before backing up your vehicle from a parking spot
- Make sure you see for any oncoming vehicles in the through lane before turning into it
- Minimize any blind spots created by side and rearview mirrors by physically looking around the area
Hiring a Reliable Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered a parking lot car accident in Atlanta, GA, our lawyers at the Greene Legal Group can help you. We work with car crash victims to help them recover the maximum amount of compensatory damages. Our lawyers also negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you get a fair settlement. Reach out to us now to book a free preliminary consultation and discuss your claim in detail with our lawyers.