When we think of automobile accidents, we seldom think of serious crashes happening in parking lots. Yet, thousands of parking lot accidents happen each year that cause the same type of property damage and injuries as those on major highways and roads.
If you suffered injuries or damages in a parking lot accident due to another person’s negligence, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today at 865-546-1111 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You can speak with a parking lot accident lawyer in Knoxville about pursuing compensation for your monetary losses from your crash.
Parking Lot Accidents Are More Serious Than You Think.
According to a 2016 report from the National Safety Council (NSC), over 50,000 car accidents occur in parking lots and parking garages each year, causing 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries. Deborah A.P. Hersman, the NSC’s president and CEO, described parking lots as “intense driving environments that require both drivers and pedestrians to pay close attention.”
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
In our many years of working with clients, we have discovered many reasons why in parking lot accidents occur. For instance, not all vehicles have motion sensors and back-up cameras to make drivers aware of nearby pedestrians and other vehicles. In these cases, accidents occur because drivers fail to see people and other vehicles while backing out of spaces or making turns. Other causes for parking lot accidents include:
- Entering and exiting the lot in the wrong direction;
- Impaired driving;
- Ignoring directional and traffic signs;
- Larger vehicles having difficulty maneuvering in small, tight spaces; and
Accidents may also occur due to the parking lot owner’s failure to perform routine maintenance on the lot and clearing accumulated snow and ice. Potholes, broken concrete, and poor lighting may also contribute to parking lot crashes.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Parking Lot Accident?
Parking lot accidents have just as many complexities as other vehicle crashes. Our attorneys have the resources and ability to sort through complicated legal requirements to get you the compensation you deserve. We are ready to defend you against accident-related accusations or help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What Should I Do After a Parking Lot Crash?
Generally, police may not show up for low-speed, minor fender-benders in parking lots. However, police respond to parking lot accidents involving pedestrians, vehicle occupants who suffer serious bodily injuries, or road rage accidents. If an officer does not respond to your accident, call the police department to report the accident so that you will have documentation of the accident scene.
After most vehicle crashes in Tennessee, you will need to file a report with state officials. Tennessee mandates drivers and vehicle owners file a report with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security within 20 days for accidents involving injury, death, or property damage over $400. Drivers and vehicle owners who do not file a report face suspension of their driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Who Is Responsible for My Parking Lot Accident?
Tennessee is a fault state, which means the person at fault for causing an accident pays for property damages or injuries resulting from the crash. In this case, you must prove that another party’s negligence caused a parking lot accident.
Our attorneys have extensive experience proving negligence in cases like this. To legally hold the faulty party liable for your damages, we must prove the following key points in your case.
Duty of Care
We must show the defendant had a duty to ensure your safety. In this case, the parking lot owner owed you a duty to properly maintain the parking lot or a driver had a duty to drive carefully to ensure the safety of others.
Breach of Duty
Next, we must prove the defendant breached that duty. In keeping with the same example, if the parking lot owner failed to repair pot holes or cracks, clear snow, or put up parking or warning signs, they breached their duty to you. Additionally, a driver may breach their duty by performing some type of negligent action behind the wheel.
We will offer evidence that the defendant’s negligent action caused your accident. We can use police reports, eyewitness accounts, photos of the crash scene, and video surveillance footage to do this.
Finally, we will use your medical bills, car repair receipts, and other documentation to show you suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. We will request fair compensation to pay for your losses.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
We cannot determine the worth of your claim until we speak with you about the details of your accident, your injuries, and the damages you incurred. Generally, you may receive reimbursement for your:
- Current and future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Physical therapy;
- Mobility devices;
- Vehicle repair costs;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Mental anguish.
Can I Still Receive Compensation If the Defendant Claims I Contributed to the Accident?
If you contributed to the accident, you may still receive reduced compensation under the state’s comparative negligence rules. This system assigns a percentage of fault to each party in an accident and bases the damage award on the percentage of fault.
In this case, if you want to recover $20,000 in damages for a parking lot accident, but you were 10 percent at fault, you would receive 90 percent, or $18,000. You cannot receive compensation if you were 50 percent or more at fault for the crash.
Auto insurers often apply comparative negligence as a way to reduce, delay, or deny insurance claims. With us advocating and investigating on your behalf, you stand a better chance of beating the insurance company’s tactics and receiving a fair settlement.
We Can Help With Your Parking Lot Accident Case.
If you need legal advice on your parking lot accident, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today at 865-546-1111. Our firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which mean you pay nothing for our services unless we achieve a favorable outcome for your claim.