Whether it is at the local mall, Target or even in the parking lot for the Tampa Bay Rays game, some people simply forget how to drive in a parking lot. Maybe it is because they are looking for the closest open parking space and not the others on the road. Whatever the reason, a parking lot car accident can be not only frustrating, but also can result in serious injuries. This article will provide a few pointers on what to do after a parking lot car accident.
Depending on the locale, the police may not come to a parking lot accident especially if there are no reported injuries. However, it is important to still report the crash. If the police do not come to the scene, get the key information about the other driver. This should include the following:
a. Name (and any passenger names)
b. Driver’s license number (take a picture with your cell phone if possible)
c. Insurance information
d. Phone number
e. License plate number
Emotions and tempers can flare after getting into a car accident in parking lot, so try to keep yourself and other people at the scene calm. If the other driver is uncooperative, just be polite and let the other party know that your insurance company will work it out.
Secondly, make sure you look around for witnesses and get their names and contact information in case you need them later on. Witness testimony is crucial when it is a he said/she said scenario.
Thirdly, if you or anyone at the scene of a parking lot accident is hurt or seems dazed, call 911. Sometimes injuries aren’t apparent right away, so it’s better to be safe and see a doctor promptly.
Fourth, take photos – lots of them — of the accident scene. Before you move vehicles involved in a crash, take photos including:
a. Location of the vehicles
b. Vehicle damage
c. Broken glass
d. Skid marks
e. General parking lot area.
These photos can be crucial in establishing who caused the parking lot car accident. The exact location of the vehicles and how the property damage is situated could explain who was at fault for the crash.
Lastly, report the parking lot accident to your insurance company. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company until you speak with an attorney. If you are hurt, make sure you see a doctor within fourteen (14) days so protect your rights to your insurance coverage.
The best thing to do is avoid a parking lot car accident. To do this, keep these tips in mind:
a. Drive slowly.
b. Stay alert for cars and pedestrians cutting across parking lanes.
c. Use turn signals for the benefit of other drivers and pedestrians.
d. Choose a parking space where you can pull forward to leave the space instead of backing out.
e. Choose a parking space at the end of a row, next to an island or in front of a light pole when possible to protect your car.
f. Don’t park in a compact space if you’re not driving a compact car – and never take up two spaces by parking over a line.
g. Look 180 degrees in both directions before backing out of a parking space instead of relying on a mirror or rearview camera.
h. Park in spots farther away from a store because it may be easier to avoid traffic.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t – on the roads and in the parking lots!
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay car accident. Attorney Matthew Noyes even wrote a book on it – Do You Really Need An Attorney After a Car Accident. If you have questions after a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.