Were You Injured in a Parking Lot Accident?
Parking lots are a lot more dangerous than people think. Drivers aren’t always paying attention, and they can get distracted when they’re looking for a parking space. This may cause drivers to ignore stop signs or go too fast.
Pedestrians walking in parking lots are going to and from their cars, and drivers aren’t always looking out for them. Parking lots are private property, but the owners have a responsibility to make sure they are safely maintained. In many cases, hazards are left unattended and traffic signs and crosswalks aren’t clearly marked.
How Reckless Driving Causes Parking Lot Injuries
Parking lots present special challenges for drivers because there are so many people walking in close proximity to moving vehicles. When drivers neglect to slow down and pay attention to what they are doing, the results can be tragic.
In a recent year, 406 pedestrians were injured and 20 people lost their lives in Nebraska as a result of parking lot accidents. Children are particularly vulnerable to these types of accidents. It’s estimated that over 5000 children are injured and more than 200 children die annually when they are struck by cars in parking lots.
Types of careless driving that result in parking lot accidents include:
- Failure to yield. Even though infractions aren’t monitored by law enforcement officers, divers must obey stop signs and right of way instructions to protect pedestrians.
- Speeding. Drivers who have just gotten off the highway may not slow down enough as they make the transition to a parking lot.
- Distraction. With the increased popularity of cell phones, distracted driver has become a major cause of car accidents. Talking, changing the radio, eating, and other activities also prevent people from giving their full attention to driving.
- DUI. Alcohol and controlled substances diminish the driver’s judgment, reduce reaction time, and impair reflexes and motor skills. People who are under the influence should not be driving anywhere.
Parking Lot Owners May Be Liable
Parking lot owners have a duty of care. That means they are expected to maintain a reasonably safe environment for pedestrians who use their parking lot. Insufficient maintenance and poorly designed parking lots often lead to pedestrian accidents. The owner can be held liable if the following types of negligence caused your injuries:
- Traffic control. Stop signs must be present at controlled intersections and right of way must be indicated. Crosswalks need to be clearly marked.
- Lighting in parking garages must be sufficient for pedestrians to be visible.
- Hazards must be clearly marked, and Do Not Enter signs should be used to protect users from any unsafe situations such as potholes that may arise.
- Unsafe weather conditions such snow, ice, and flooding must be addressed in a reasonable amount of time, and hazard signs are required to prevent accidents.
How to Stay Safe in Parking Lots
When you are walking through a parking lot, stay watchful at all times. Don’t allow kids to roam free — keep them at arm’s length and hold their hand when necessary.
Never step in front of car or assume drivers will stop. Follow posted instructions and always use the crosswalk. Reduce distractions while walking through a parking lot, including cell phones and conversations. When you drop off passengers, make sure they exit on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Common Parking Lot Accident Injuries
It is always dangerous when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, even if the car isn’t traveling at a high rate of speed. There are two ways injuries can happen, when the car strikes the pedestrian, and when the pedestrian hits the ground. The following types of serious injuries occur in parking lot accidents:
- Head and brain trauma (TBI)
- Bone fractures, especially in pelvis and lower areas
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Cuts and contusions
- Wrongful death
Have You Been Injured in Parking Lot Accident?
Because parking lots are private property, the police may not respond to your accident. Make sure to collect insurance information from any drivers involved in the accident and get contact information from any witnesses. Use your cell phone camera to record the accident site and any injuries you have sustained
You will want to contact an attorney before talking to any insurance agents. Your attorney will review security camera footage and conduct a full investigation. Then they will file a claim against any negligent parties so you can seek compensation to cover the cost of your medical care and other expenses caused by your accident, including lost earnings and the pain and suffering you have experienced.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we listen to your concerns with compassion. We handle cases in Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, and throughout the Midwest. Contact our office today at (402) 505-8234 and speak with an experienced pedestrian accident personal injury attorney. We’re on your side.
Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with the Bottlinger Law team.