Parking lots can be tricky places for car accidents. Rules of the road become rather subjective when everyone is crowded together in tight spots trying to do their own thing, and determining fault often leads to big arguments and litigation.
Parking lot accidents are in fact very common; With so much limited space, blind spots, and awkward angles, cars are much more prone to collisions. Usually though, due to lower speeds driven in parking lots, the collisions aren’t as bad and personal injury claims are much less common.
That being said, determining fault can be tricky. Having something unfairly blamed on you can damage your driving record, raise your insurance premiums, and end up costing you a lot of money and time.
If you’ve been involved in a parking lot collision, do yourself a favor and get in touch with an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights and help you get a settlement. Before you get an attorney, here are some things to know about parking lot accidents in Utah.
Utah’s car accident laws
We could talk all day about the various auto laws in Utah, but when an accident happens in a parking lot, these rules become irrelevant anyway. This is because most of the time a parking lot is on private property, which voids state laws that pertain to public roads. This means that determining fault in these situations depends on a few general rules, and one person’s word against the other.
The general rules are:
- If one car was moving and the other wasn’t moving, then whoever was moving is at fault.
- If both cars were moving, then whoever was moving faster is at fault.
- Whoever is leaving a parking spot has to yield to everyone else
- Whoever is leaving a parking lot onto a street must yield to those driving on the street
What to do when it happens
To avoid getting stuck in an argument over fault, always try to be slower than everyone else so that you can avoid blame in these situations. If an accident does occur, make sure you:
- Make sure you are not injured before exiting your car
- Do not try to settle the accident outside of the insurance company. If the other driver tries to offer you cash, turn it down
- If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, get a photo of their license plate, and call the police
- Document your surroundings, see if there was a stop sign the other driver ignored, determine who was moving faster, ask for witnesses, etc.
If you’re lucky, there may be video footage somewhere nearby that can help you.
Winning your case
If your case, like many cases, ends up in a battle between two people’s stories, you will need an experienced auto accident attorney to fight for you. If you’ve been involved in a parking lot accident in Utah, contact Truman & Radford to get your case started.
Truman & Radford, Injury Attorneys
20 North Main Street, #309
St. George, Utah