Determining Fault for a Crash that Happened in a Parking Lot
Drivers tend to relax a little too much in parking lots. They think because they are traveling at a slower speed there is much less risk of a crash. They may not have a second thought about pulling out their phone to send a text or check a social media feed.
These are just some of the reasons to be careful in parking lots. There is still a risk of a car crash and it could result in serious injuries and damage to your vehicle.
As Texas is a fault state, you and your lawyer must prove the other driver is at fault to have a chance to recover compensation for your damages. This can be tough to do and requires detailed knowledge of Texas right-of-way laws. The Austin car accident lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have extensive knowledge of laws that apply to car accident cases.
Who has the Right of Way in a Parking Lot?
Many parking lot crashes involve a collision between one vehicle backing out of a parking space and another in the feeder lane.
The driver who is backing out must wait for the path to be clear. If he or she does not, he or she is likely at fault for the crash and financially liable for damages that may result. This rule applies whether you are in a private parking lot or one used by a city or municipality.
However, if a driver was halfway out of the spot and another car came racing down the feeder lane going over the speed limit, the driver in the feeder lane might be at fault.
Some crashes involve two cars that are backing out of a space at the same time. It is possible for both drivers to be partially to blame for this type of crash. However, if one of the cars was almost done backing out of a spot and another just started to move, the driver who was starting to back out may be fully at fault.
There are also crashes involving cars pulling out of parking lots onto the street. The lane that leads to a street is called a thoroughfare. The cars on the street have the right of way and cars on the thoroughfare must yield to them.
Comparative Fault and Parking Lot Crashes
Texas allows you to recover compensation provided you are no more than 51 percent at fault for your injuries. If you are more than 51 percent at fault, you are prohibited from recovering any compensation, no matter how severe your injuries may be.
If you bear any fault, your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. If you are found to be 10 percent at fault, your award would be reduced by 10 percent. You might be assigned this amount of fault if someone backed out of a parking spot while you were in a thoroughfare, but you were going over the speed limit or you were distracted. In this situation, you may bear some small amount of fault.
Preventing a Parking Lot Crash
There are several steps you can take to lower your risk of a parking lot crash. For example:
- Keep your eyes on the road – Avoid distractions and focus on your driving. There is a lot going on and you cannot rely on other drivers to always pay attention to what they are doing.
- Look out for pedestrians – Pedestrians are not always as cautious as they should be. They often do not cross the road in designated crosswalks or wait to make sure drivers are going to slow down or stop.
- Slow down – People often speed in parking lots and do not realize how fast they are going. There is so much activity you need time to react to avoid danger.
- Avoid tailgating – Drivers often slow down or stop without warning and if you are tailgating, you will not have time to react. Drivers are often so focused on finding a parking spot they forget cars are behind them.
Need Help with Your Car Crash Claim? Call Today
Lorenz & Lorenz has recovered compensation for numerous crash victims over nearly 20 years. We offer a free initial consultation and charge no upfront fees for our services.
There is no risk in contacting us to discuss your accident to find out how we may be able to assist you. Read some of our client testimonials to find out what they had to say about the services we provided.
Give us a call today to learn more. Phone: 1-888-418-8853.