Who Is At Fault in Parking Lot Car Accidents in Texas?
Car accidents can happen at all speeds and under any conditions. Even parking lots, where you would assume people are driving slowly and watching for pedestrians, can still see somewhat serious accidents. At low speeds, car accidents can cause injuries that need expensive medical care and time off work to heal. Parking lot car accidents usually occur in one of a few common ways, each of which clearly places the blame on one driver. For help with your parking lot car accident injury case, contact the Dallas car accident injury lawyers at the Queenan Law Firm today.
Types of Car Accidents in Parking Lots
If you were involved in a car crash in a parking lot, odds are it happened in one of a few common ways. Without much room to maneuver and with the common circumstances present in most parking lots, car accidents tend to happen in the same ways. Each of these accidents has a relatively clear at-fault party, which helps simplify your case.
Backing Out of Parking Spaces
Cars backing out of parking spaces are often responsible for parking lot car accidents. Experts estimate that backing out of a parking spot often carries a much higher risk of hitting another car or a pedestrian. Children are commonly the victims of accidents where the driver was backing up, especially in driveways and parking lots. In these accidents, it is more difficult for the person backing up to notice cars coming from the sides or pedestrians crossing behind the car, especially if the cars on either side of the driver are larger trucks or SUVs. However, this is no excuse, and the driver backing out of a parking space commonly has a duty to yield and to only pull out when the coast is clear. If a driver backs out into another vehicle or a pedestrian, they are likely at fault for the accident.
Driving in a parking lot requires care. All drivers should expect that parking lots will have pedestrians walking to or from their cars and slow-moving vehicles searching for spaces. If a driver is speeding in a parking lot, they are clearly a danger to others. Many speed limit signs in parking lots are not official traffic signals posted by the government, but they still give a good description of what speeds are safe in that parking lot. If a car is driving more than 15 or 20 miles per hour in a parking lot, they are likely at fault for any accidents they cause. In cases where a driver is clearly driving at excessive speeds in a parking lot, they are undeniably risking injury to others.
When leaving a bar, nightclub, or restaurant, you should never get behind the wheel if you are too drunk to drive. DWI accident victims can suffer serious injuries, even in parking lots. These types of accidents may coincide with other accident types on this list since drunk drivers are often less able to make good judgment calls and have a lowered ability to react to other cars and pedestrians in their way. Drunk driving is illegal on the roads and highways of Texas, but driving on private property may not always result in a conviction for DWI offenses. However, the clear lack of safety involved with drunk driving usually makes it simpler to deem the intoxicated driver at fault for any car accidents they cause in a parking lot.
Parking decks and parking garages often have tight corners that may be difficult for drivers to see around. Along with this, the signs and directions for where to drive in the parking deck may be unclear. In most cases, accidents like this only occur when a driver cuts corners, comes around the corner too fast, or disobeys “One Way” signs and other signals. In those cases, the driver who failed to use the proper car is generally at fault. However, you may also be able to sue the owner of the parking deck for their unclear or dangerous signs.
Texting and Driving
When people get in the car to leave a parking lot, they may text someone to let them know they’re on their way. That conversation should end as soon as the car starts, but many drivers continue to text while driving. In a parking lot where there are pedestrians and other cars in tight quarters, it is very dangerous to take your eyes and attention off the road to send a text message. If someone causes an accident while texting and driving, they are usually at fault for the crash.
Dallas, TX Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in a parking lot or parking deck in Texas, talk to the Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience handling personal injury cases and getting injury victims the compensation they need for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.