Our safety and the safety of others when we are on the road depends on being a responsible driver. The New Orleans car accidents attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm, know that vigilance needs to extend to every moment we are in the driver’s seat, even in places we might not typically think of as potentially dangerous – like a parking lot.
With their lower speeds, it’s easy to think that nothing can happen to us or our vehicle in a parking lot. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found in a study of over 500 vehicle collisions, 14% of them occurred in parking lots. Other projections show that as many as 20% of accidents occur in parking lots.
The frequency with which these types of incidents occur is a good reason to learn a little about some of the common varieties of parking lot crashes and myths.
Types of Crashes
- One car rear-ending another at a stop sign – Everyone has had those moments where you are trying to leave a store and there isn’t a large enough break in traffic for you to turn. This can create a stop-and-go situation that the second driver in line might misinterpret, resulting in them driving into the first. It is important whether approaching, or already waiting in line at a stop sign, that you leave enough space between you and the car in front.
- A driver backing out of a parking space into a moving car – This scenario is probably the one we worry about most. Even with modern conveniences like rearview cameras on our dashboard, it’s not always completely safe to leave a parking space. Always double-check your mirrors, as well as other visual aids, and don’t rush out of a space.
- Two drivers backing out of parking spaces into each other – A related incident to the one mentioned above, two reversing cars colliding is usually the result of a rushed exit on the part of one driver. Regardless of whether you see cars driving through the parking lot traffic lanes or not, you still have to give a glance around to see if any cars are pulling out of spaces, too. You never know which way they might turn or how fast they’ll back out.
- A car drives forward out of their parking space into an oncoming car – This is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do in a parking lot. Visibility can be compromised by the size of the vehicles you are driving through and you can’t use visual aids like your side mirrors or rearview mirror or camera. Drivers going forward in a parking lot are also less likely to be looking out for cars coming out of parking spaces.
- Two cars trying to pull into the same parking spot – This is about the epitome of recklessness, two people competing for something that they can find plenty of. Nobody really likes parking far away whenever they go shopping or run errands, but the potential headache of fighting over a parking spot is just not worth the trouble.
Because of the circumstances surrounding parking lot car accidents, many myths have developed around this type of auto accident. It is important to recognize that every case is different and that these myths can be detrimental to your case and/or health if you fall for them.
- Myth: Slow speeds mean no one can get seriously injured.
The problem with this myth is that people tend to equate the damage done to the driver or passenger(s) in a car accident to the damage done to the vehicles involved. This isn’t true, and even a car accident at 15 miles an hour can leave you injured – especially for pedestrians.
- Myth: A car that doesn’t show much damage must mean the people in the car are not seriously hurt.
There are many problems with this but chief among them is that cars and humans are not made out of the same materials or designed the same way. A change in speed as “small” as going from 15 to 0 miles per hour in a crash has the same impact on a person’s body as falling seven feet.
Additionally, even though a car may not show much damage on the surface, there is still a chance that something important was damaged and won’t be noticed until a closer inspection is done. The same is true for people, as a number of physical issues may not manifest visible symptoms immediately.
- Myth: Both drivers are always at fault in parking lot accidents.
This myth keeps a lot of people who are hurt in parking lot accidents from seeking some form of damages or compensation. The truth is that even if there is blame to be passed to both drivers, it is rarely a clear-cut or even split.
It is vital that the circumstances be thoroughly investigated. If you have preserved the facts of your case well enough, there is always a chance that the records you have collected will show that more of the blame lies with the other driver.
- Myth: Insurance companies will take care of everything, including you.
Not everyone who works for an insurance company is greedy or indifferent to your claim. There are good, honest claims adjusters who will work to make sure you are taken care of after an accident. But the fact is that the demands of their job and their company’s adherence to their financial bottom line will, more often than not, keep even the best adjusters from taking the time you need for them to take on your case.
The purpose of their jobs is to make sure that their company limits the amount of compensation given out whenever a claim is made. They have policies and an army of lawyers ready to defend every last cent. This is why you should always consider acquiring legal representation when you are injured in a parking lot accident.
Call the Cardone Law Firm today and we’ll put in the time and effort your case deserves.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a collision in a parking lot anywhere in the state of Louisiana, you do have options available to you. To protect those options and pursue your legal right to seek recovery for any damages you’ve endured, you need to seek a consultation with our experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney.