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Who is at Fault in Parking Lot Accident

Who is at Fault in Parking Lot Accident

It is a safe bet to assume you have recently been to a parking lot. I’m sure you remember how confusing and annoying it can get, especially when it is crowded. Often people appear out of nowhere, and you have to screech to a halt.

You may have even been involved in a parking lot accident if you’re unfortunate. If that’s the case, you may be wondering who is at fault in a parking lot accident. This article will seek to answer this question while also informing you on how to best deal with this situation. Read on to learn more!

Parking Lot Accidents: What You Need to Know

Parking lot accidents are quite a common occurrence in Canada and worldwide. What else can you expect when you have vehicles, pedestrians, carts, cyclists, medians, and narrow lanes all in one place?

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that parking lot accidents are a lot more common than people realize. According to CBS News, 20 % of all car accidents happen in parking lots, and most of them are easily avoidable.

Although most accidents are mild and impacts occur at low speeds, they can cause severe damage and injury. This can also affect your car insurance; hence many do not report these accidents, and hit and runs become common.

What to do When in a Parking Lot Accident?

Since the accident happened on private property and not a public road, many people assume that they treat the accident differently. However, they should be treated as any other form of accident.

When involved in an accident, the first thing to do is to see if all parties involved are safe from injuries. If anyone is injured, you must call emergency services right away.

If the damage done in the accident exceeds $2000, you must call the police and file an accident report after exchanging information and notifying your insurer.

Here are a few steps to follow after a parking lot accident:

  • Clear the path for traffic by moving your vehicle but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Check for injuries on yourself and anyone involved.
  • Exchange information with the other driver.
  • Report if the damage exceeds $2000.
  • Take the vehicle to the nearest collision reporting center.
  • Contact your insurer.

Many drivers prefer to pay for minor damages out of pocket instead of contacting their insurer, but it is still wise to inform your insurer about the accident.

Who is at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident?

It is expected that the fault in parking lot accidents is misinterpreted, and just like all other accidents, the fault must be determined on a case-by-case basis. As there are multiple factors to consider, choosing responsibility can be difficult.

Depending on the circumstance, a driver may be solely at fault for an accident, or the drivers may share the blame.

Generally, if you collide with a car parked legally, you will be to blame for the accident.

If you are exiting a parking spot, you must yield to a vehicle in motion down the lane. If you fail to do so, which results in an accident, you will be found at fault.

There is a common misconception that parking lot accidents are 50-50 fault. This is not true. The fault is determined on a case-to-case basis by carefully studying the details of the accident.

The following list of rules will provide you with a guideline for keeping in mind when in a parking lot. Failure to follow these rules will usually result in you being at fault.

  • Traffic Signs: Obey all traffic rules and signs
  • Yielding: When exiting a parking spot or when joining any other lane, you must yield to traffic
  • Right of way: Drivers in the central lane have the right of way
  • Backing up: If you back into a lane and hit a vehicle, you will be at fault
  • Legally parked: If you hit a lawfully parked car, you are at fault
  • Open Door: If you back into an open door of a parked vehicle, the parked driver is at fault.
  • Illegally parked: If you collide with an illegally parked car, the parked driver is at fault
  • Opening your door: You are at fault if you hit another vehicle when opening your car door.

Does a Parking Lot Accident Go on Your Record?

Yes, A parking lot accident is treated the same way as any other accident and typically results in it being added to your driving record. This is why many drivers choose not to report parking lot accidents.

Many drivers also may hit a vehicle in a parking lot and then leave the scene without leaving a note. You may be charged with a hit and run in such cases.

If another hits your vehicle in a parking lot and there is no note left behind, you will not be at fault. You can call the police and file a report, and this may lead to the driver being tracked down

You Have Been in a Parking Lot Accident, Now What?

Protecting yourself and your legal rights starts at the accident scene, and you must deal with them the same way you would deal with any other accident. The first thing to note, it is best to be careful about what you say at the scene. You must not admit fault and leave it to the insurance companies to figure it out.

You should also gather any evidence, such as photos of the damage done to your vehicle or anything else you may feel is relevant. Also, try to gather video evidence from parking lot security cameras.

Next, you must contact your insurance company and inform them of what happened, even if the damage is negligible. It may help you in the future to do so.

If you have suffered injuries and other damages, it is best to seek help from a car accident lawyer to help you get the outcome you deserve.


All things considered, an accident is precisely that. However, it is vital to determine the fault of one or both drivers, especially if they have suffered injuries or damage to their vehicles. If you or your loved one was involved in a parking lot accident, it is prudent to contact you, a car accident attorney in addition to your insurance, to get the results from the accident.

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