Parking Lot Accidents and Liability
Were you involved in a motor vehicle accident that happened in a parking lot and you want to know your rights or obligations? Or your friend or family member was? Or just wondering what would happen?
The main question you are likely asking is: How is liability determined? The answer is: it depends. Watch this video as we expand upon this answer.
Liability depends on what the situation is that you happen to be in; there are four main situations and corresponding general rules of determination of liability:
- a) where two vehicles vie for the same parking space and collide – liability is split 50/50
- b) where a vehicle is legally parked and backing or pulling out, and another vehicle is coming through traffic, and they collide – the vehicle that is backing or pulling out is usually liable
- c) where a vehicle is coming through a parking lot straight, and another is attempting to execute a turn, and they collide – the vehicle making the turn is usually liable
- d) where a vehicle collides with a legally parked vehicle – the moving vehicle that struck the parked vehicle is usually liable
These rules are consequences of the rules of the road, which apply equally to parking lots as well as to roadways.
If you collide with a legally parked vehicle, make sure to leave your information or a note, call the police and report the accident. If you don’t, if the collision is later discovered to have occurred, you might be charged with hit and run.
This video also provides you with the following useful tips:
- ensure that you call 911 right after the accident;
- if the police do not come, go to the closest self-reporting collision centre; and
- gather as many witnesses as you can to corroborate your story that you are not at fault