Parking Lot Accidents: Who’s at Fault?
If you drive a car in Houston, Texas, you probably visit a lot of parking lots. While parking lots may seem safer than public roads and highways because vehicles travel at slower speeds there, accidents are still bound to happen in parking lots. And when they do, determining who is at fault can be challenging.
If you were involved in a parking lot accident, you might have a lot of questions, including, “Who is at fault for the accident?” and “How do I get compensation for my damages and losses?” As a car accident attorney with decades of experience handling personal injury cases, I can answer your questions and address your concerns. I have the resources, knowledge, and practice to assist your specific situation.
At The Fostel Law Firm, I serve accident victims and their families from my office in Houston, Texas. My law firm is a nationwide practice, so I am willing to review cases from across the country for no charge.
Fault in Common Parking Lot Accidents
More than 205,000 Texans suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2020, according to the state’s Department of Transportation. Even though vehicles move more slowly in parking lots, pedestrians and vehicle occupants may still get injured in parking lot accidents.
Let’s review some of the most common parking lot accident scenarios and who can be deemed at fault in these situations:
If a crash occurs when both vehicles are in motion, the motorist who does not have the right of way is usually deemed at fault for the accident. For example, if a driver did not yield the right of way from a feeder lane, they can be held responsible for the accident.
If a moving vehicle crashes into a legally parked vehicle, the driver of the moving vehicle will be held at fault for the accident. A common situation is when a motorist hits a parked car while trying to park nearby.
If two vehicles collide while leaving their parking spaces, both drivers may be deemed at fault for the accident unless there is evidence to prove that one of the drivers failed to take all reasonable precautions to avoid the collision (e.g., the driver was distracted by his/her phone while leaving the parking space).
If two vehicles collide while trying to enter the same parking space, the driver who does not have the right of way will be deemed responsible for causing the crash.
If a vehicle hits a moving vehicle while leaving a parking space, the driver of that vehicle may be to blame for causing the collision unless there is evidence to prove that the driver of the moving vehicle could have avoided the accident.
These are some of the most common scenarios for parking lot accidents. However, each situation is unique, which is why it may be necessary to take other factors into consideration to determine fault. Depending on the circumstances, pedestrians and parking lot owners may also be partially or fully to blame for accidents that occur in parking lots.
Parking Lots and Right of Way Rules
Right of way rules in parking lots include the following:
Drivers traveling in the main lane have the right of way
Drivers backing or pulling out of parking spots or feeder lanes must yield to drivers in the main lane
Vehicles backing or pulling out of parking spots must yield to drivers in feeder lanes
Drivers leaving a parking space are responsible for stopping and checking for oncoming traffic in the main and feeder lanes
Pedestrians always have the right of way in parking lots (however, they cannot walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle)
These are the main right-of-way rules that apply to parking lots. If you have questions about the right of way in your particular situation, consult with a car accident attorney.
Legal Guidance You Can Trust
If you were involved in a parking lot accident in Houston or anywhere else in Texas, you must retain the assistance of a skilled attorney to identify all liable parties and pursue compensation. As a car accident attorney at The Fostel Law Firm, I can protect your rights and gather all available evidence seeking to prove the other party’s fault. Schedule a case evaluation today to discuss your particular case.