New York parking lots are busy places, and if you or other drivers aren’t careful, you can suffer injuries in a parking lot accident. But you do not have to face this difficult situation alone. If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, you may be entitled to recover damages.
At Morelli Law Firm, our New York parking lot accident attorneys can help you recover compensation if you qualify for a case. We are dedicated to recovering all the damages that you may qualify for so you can recover from your injuries.
New York City Parking Lots Can Be Dangerous Places
In a parking lot, vehicles, pedestrians, and shopping carts can be moving in every direction. More often than not, drivers and pedestrians may get distracted by a variety of factors, including stressful errands, noisy children, or their cell phones. These events can result in an accident.
Accidents involving parked vehicles can even be fatal. A Highway Safety Statistics report shows that 1.2% of fatal car crashes involve parked vehicles. When an accident is fatal, it is usually a result of a high impact or speeding.
Other accidents can occur when cars leave a parking lot. If someone is driving a manual car and they are waiting at the top of a parking garage slope, and they don’t give it enough gas, it could stall and roll down the hill, hitting the car ahead of them with a strong force. If you or a loved one has experienced a car accident in a NY parking lot, contact a car accident attorney in New York to see if you have a case.
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Private Property and Public Property Accidents
Parking lots can be located on either private or public property, but oftentimes, most parking lots are found on private property. So if you get into a car accident in a Walmart or Target parking lot, it is the store’s private property.
But even if you get into a car accident in a private parking lot, this does not negate the legal duty of care for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and car park operators. If any degree of negligence is found to have caused a parking lot accident, then an individual or multiple parties may be liable for injuries or damage to vehicles.
When Does the Legal Duty of Care Apply?
The legal duty of care applies whenever you could be responsible for someone else’s injuries. The duty of care is an obligation to be cautious in your actions and to avoid harming anyone else.
So regardless of whether it’s a public or private parking lot, you have a duty of care to drive or behave responsibly. And if you do not follow this obligation, you can be held liable for your breach of the duty of care.
Do Police Respond to Parking Lot Accidents?
The police may not respond to an accident on private property as they would if it were on a public road. This means there is no guarantee that the police will respond to a parking lot accident unless serious injuries or property damage are involved. However, that does not mean you should not call the police, especially if you or someone else have appeared to have been moderately injured.
If it seems the police are not immediately needed, then the important evidence of a police report may not be available. If this is the case, evidence-gathering on your part becomes even more important. You should know what to do after a parking lot accident in order to gather information properly. Here are the things you should do:
- Collect information from the other driver. This includes the name of the driver, the name of the vehicle owner, if not the same as the driver, the names of any passengers, as well as the vehicle make, model, and license plate number. You will also need to gather their insurance information, including the company name, policy number, and phone number to call for claims.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and obtain video surveillance if possible.
- Look for security personnel who may have been monitoring the parking lot or bystanders who may have witnessed the incident.
If possible, go to a doctor right away to assess any injuries you may have suffered. Also, in such a situation, you may want to hire a New York parking lot accident lawyer to ensure that your role in the accident is assessed fairly.
Determining Liability in a Parking Lot Accident
When you get into a parking lot accident, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault for the accident. One or several parties may be at fault in a parking lot accident that may include:
- Drivers: All car drivers have a duty of care to be aware of their surroundings to keep other parking lot users safe.
- Passengers: Passengers also have a responsibility to keep others safe while in the car. Intentionally diverting the driver’s attention might lead to an accident. Because they contributed to the accident, they might be negligent.
- Pedestrians: There are many instances of pedestrians’ negligence, such as stepping out into the path of a car, that can cause an accident. Pedestrians do have a duty of care and can also be held liable for car park accidents caused by their negligence.
- Parking lot facilities: Under New York’s premises liability laws, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that their facility is clearly marked lanes and the parking lot is well maintained. Any hazards, including potholes and other obstructions, should be taken care of in a reasonable time frame. Defective parking spots should be repaired promptly, and in the meantime, the facility should use short-term warning signs to warn drivers of the hazard.
A parking lot accident attorney from our firm can help you determine who was at fault in the accident. Our lawyers are known for their in-depth evidence process and for holding the proper parties accountable in a timely manner.
Are Parking Lot Accidents Always 50/50?
As lawyers, we have answered this question many times, and our answer is no. The common reason many people think this is because insurance companies often assign equal fault to both drivers because they don’t want to investigate the accident.
However, fault is determined in parking lot accidents like it is in any other type of car accident. And unlike the insurance company, our team of lawyers will investigate and assign fault to the negligent driver.
The Limited Time You Have to File a Parking Lot Accident Claim
In the state of New York, you have three years from the date of your car accident to file your lawsuit. As soon as you report the accident to the police and get medical attention for your injuries, you should file your claim.
By filing early, you can avoid the stress that may come with filing last minute. Also, you will have more time to gather evidence with your lawyer to build a strong case. If you do wait to file and you end up missing your deadline, you won’t be able to recover any form of compensation.
Even though New York’s statute of limitations states that you have three years to file your claim, you may have more or less time, depending on the details of your case. The only sure way to know is to meet with a parking lot accident attorney in New York City.
Forms of Compensation Available
If you were injured in a parking lot collision, you might have the right to obtain compensation for your losses. Some of the most common losses in a parking lot accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss and future loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Depending on your parking lot accident, you may be able to recover more damages to cover the costs you may face. One of our lawyers can give you a free case evaluation to determine what damages you qualify for.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When you want to hire a NY personal injury lawyer to represent you in a parking lot accident case, you should consider the attorney’s track record and experience in trying these types of cases. And dealing with the insurance company is one of the many things a lawyer must do in a parking lot accident.
Dealing with an insurance adjuster who represents the at-fault party or parties can be intimidating, and they want to pay out as little as possible or even deny your claim. These actions can result in your case ending up in court.
Therefore, it can be helpful to have an attorney who understands the unique aspects of parking lot accidents working in your best interests.
Average Parking Lot Accident Settlement
There is no average parking lot settlement that a parking lot injury lawyer can tell you that applies to every situation because every accident is different. But there are some factors that can determine how much you can recover. The first factor is how severe your injuries are.
The more severe they are, the more money you may need to cover your treatment costs. If you sustained a life-threatening injury, you will most likely receive a higher settlement. Another factor that can determine your settlement is your role in the accident.
If you are proven at fault for any reason, your settlement can decrease drastically. The last factor that can determine your settlement is how many people are at-fault. Once you determine who is at fault in a parking lot accident, you can hold every negligent party accountable.
Hire a Morelli Law Firm Parking Lot Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a parking lot accident and are considering filing a claim, contact our law firm to see if a personal injury lawyer can help you. The attorneys at Morelli Law Firm can help you develop a strategy for a successful claim.
Call us or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule a free case evaluation.