Assessing Fault for a Crash in a Louisiana Parking Lot

empty parking spots in plazaParking lots are often hotbeds of activity, with cars coming and going and pedestrians walking into and out of businesses around the lot. With all this coming and going, accidents are bound to happen.

For some reason, drivers tend to relax and let their guard down when they enter a parking lot. They think an accident is unlikely to happen. They may often not pay enough attention before backing out of a parking space, hitting the gas or passing through an area frequented by pedestrians.

Even though you are driving at a relatively slow speed, you can suffer serious injuries. Even accidents that do not cause significant property damage may result in severe injuries.

With all this activity, determining who is at fault for an accident can be complicated. Below, our experienced Lafayette auto accident attorneys discuss fault for these kinds of crashes.

If you were injured in a car crash in a parking lot, give us a call to schedule your free legal consultation. Our firm charges no upfront fees and no fees while working on your case. Learn more about how we may be able to assist you.

What You Need to Know About Right of Way in Parking Lots

Right of way is often a deciding factor when determining fault for a crash that happens in a parking lot. If one driver had the right of way and the other did not, the driver who did not have the right of way is likely to be found at least partially at fault. There may be other factors that result in the driver with the right of way being assigned some portion of fault.

Determining whether you have the right of way will be based on the situation. For example, if you hit a car while you were backing out of a parking space, the car you hit had the right of way. You are supposed to wait for traffic in the feeder lane to clear before backing out. That said, if the driver of the car you hit was speeding or otherwise negligent, he or she may be partially at fault for the crash.

What if You Are Backing Up and You Hit Another Car That Was Backing Up?

You and the other driver may share fault for this crash. If you started backing up first and the other driver hit you, the other driver may bear most of the fault for the crash. While you may have been in the other driver’s blind spot, that driver has a responsibility to check his or her blind spots to help prevent a crash.

Through Lanes vs. Feeder Lanes

Parking lots can be divided into through lanes and feeder lanes. The through lanes are on the perimeter of the parking lot. The feeder lanes are the lanes with the parking spaces in them.

Drivers in through lanes have the right of way while those in feeder lanes do not. That means if you pull out of a feeder lane and crash into a car in the through lane, you are likely to be found at fault for the crash.

That said, if the driver in the through lane has a stop sign and fails to obey it, causing a crash, he or she is likely to be found at fault.

What if Two Drivers Are Competing for a Parking Spot?

In this scenario, the driver making a left turn across traffic is likely to be found at fault for the crash. However, there are other considerations. If you had already started to make your turn and another car raced in to try to claim the spot, you may have had the right of way.

What About Crashes Involving Pedestrians?

You always need to be aware of pedestrians in parking lots. If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, he or she has the right of way. There are often signs in parking lots telling drivers to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. There are often stop signs in front of the crosswalk.

What if a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk?

In these situations, drivers are probably still going to be found at fault for the crash. If you are obeying the speed limit and other signs in the area, it is difficult to get into a crash with a pedestrian. That said, you may not be found at fault if a pedestrian darts out in front of you.

Contact Galloway Jefcoat for Help Following a Car Crash

Crash victims often think they can handle the situation on their own. Maybe they have filed an insurance claim for a minor crash and were able to recover compensation.

However, you never know how severe your injuries may be. The insurance company will be looking for some way to lowball you or even deny your claim. If that happens, do you know how to fight back? Do you know what your claim is worth?

The experienced lawyers at our firm have been helping crash victims for decades and have a proven track record. There is no obligation to hire our firm after meeting with us, so give us a call to see how we may be able to help. Unlike the insurance company, our goal is to help you recover as much compensation as possible.

Call Galloway Jefcoat today to learn more. (337) 984-8020