Parking Lot Accidents

When you think of accidents involving motor vehicles, the images that your mind conjures up may involve fast highways with speeding cars or busy intersections with pedestrians gathered by crosswalks. However, research by the National Safety Council discovered that one in five accidents occur in parking lots. Even though speed limits are extremely low in parking lots, usually no more than 5 miles per hour (MPH), harmful and even fatal accidents can happen if drivers are negligent, not obeying the law, and not paying attention.

Who is at fault in a parking lot accident in California?

The attorneys at Kirakosian Law review your case and determine who is at fault for your parking lot accident based on the facts. While numerous factors can cause accidents, the majority of accidents occur during these situations.

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When Backing Out

Typically the driver who is liable for a parking lot accident is the one who was backing out of the parking space. However, if two cars were backing out of a space simultaneously and collided, they will each share fault.

Pulling Forward

The driver in the lane has the right of way, and the vehicle leaving the parking space must yield to that driver. If Driver A does not yield and collides with vehicle B in the lane, Driver A is responsible for that accident.

Two Cars and One Space

​​When two cars try to pull into the same space simultaneously, both drivers will bear some responsibility for the accident. Generally, the driver making a right-hand turn has the right of way over a driver making a left turn, but whether or not this applies in your case will depend on the circumstances surrounding your parking lot accident.

Rear-End Collision At A Stop Sign

Generally, when one driver rear-ends another vehicle, the driver that caused the accident by not allowing adequate space between themselves and the other car is at fault. Again, however, this is not always the case, and there may be exceptions to this rule depending on the facts surrounding your accident.

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Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents

A lot is happening in the confined spaces in parking lots as drivers try to park their vehicle and pedestrians make their way to the building, shopping center, etc. Additionally, while most parking lots use street signs as required by law, they aren’t required to follow a design pattern and may direct visitors in various directions. This compounds the danger of parking lots because drivers may be preoccupied with finding an entrance somewhere, looking for a spot, or trying to navigate. Among the most common parking lot accidents include:

  • Two drivers backing up into each other: it can be hard to see behind and around you in a parking lot, and larger vehicles may make it more difficult. These types of accidents happen when two cars collide when backing out of a parking space.
  • When a driver pulls out of a space and hits oncoming traffic in the parking lane: again, it can be very difficult for a smaller vehicle to see over a large vehicle like an SUV. When a forward-facing car is leaving a spot, they must also be wary of drivers who may be backing out of a spot near them.
  • When a driver backs out of a parking space and into a car coming from the perpendicular direction
  • When one driver slams into the back of another vehicle at a stop sign or a stoplight

The California DMV has outlined the rules for parking and guidelines for what is considered illegal parking. It is illegal to park a car within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, fire lane, or in a way that blocks the entrance or exit from private property. You must also never park in a space that is designated for a disabled driver. Above all, drivers are expected to get behind the wheel only while sober and alert. Parking lots are hectic places, so drivers must be diligent when driving through them to get to shopping centers, offices, etc.

How Kirakosian Law Helps Parking Lot Accident Victims

When you have been involved in a parking lot accident, then you need an attorney who is straightforward, thorough and personalizes their services for you. Kirakosian Law has taken on very difficult personal injury cases on behalf of drivers and passengers in the greater Los Angeles area and has recovered millions of dollars for clients.

Greg Kirakosian is a parking lot accident lawyer in Los Angeles who has a passion for practicing personal injury law. Before launching his renowned law firm, Mr. Kirakosian litigated thousands of catastrophic personal injury cases and highway tort claims. Call Kirakosian Law now to schedule your free case evaluation for your Los Angeles parking lot accident.