Parking Lot Accidents in Florida

Motor vehicle accidents that take place on private property rather than on a public road  are more common than many people realize.  These types of accidents can include a car colliding with a pedestrian while a car is trying to pull into or backing out of a driveway, for example, or an accident that takes place between two or more cars on a private road.  But the most common on private property are parking lot accidents or those that take place in a parking garage.  Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic, the federal agency that is responsible for traffic safety, have found that almost one in five accidents nationally takes place in a parking lot or garage.  Almost every business has one, whether its own standalone parking lot or instead a parking lot or garage that it may share with other neighboring businesses.  This is particularly true in a car-centric place like virtually all of Florida.  In many parts of Florida, South Florida in particular, everyone is always in a hurry, so people are often left battling it out to try and find the best parking spots or they zoom up and down the parking lot aisles to find the best spot.  However, this can often lead to parking lot accidents.

Parking lot accidents can occur in a variety of different scenarios, from two cars backing into one another or colliding when both are trying to compete for the same parking spot to one car driven by someone in a rush accidently hitting a pedestrian who is walking back to his or her car from a store or business.  Despite the fact they are often low-speed collisions, accidents that take place in parking lots also can cause serious injuries or damages.  In addition, parking lot accidents can also differ from the more common types of accidents in a significant way. Whereas a motor vehicle accident that takes place on a freeway typically would only involve claims against the driver that caused the accident, an accident in a parking lot would potentially also include claims against the owner and/or operator of the parking lot in which the accident took place.  For you as the accident victim, this is actually a benefit given that it gives you additional parties against whom to seek recovery for your injuries and other damages.

Does Regular Florida Law Apply if You Are Injured on Private Property?

 If you are injured on a public road, then the normal rules that most drivers are familiar with apply.  For instance, if someone rear ends you on the highway, then that person likely was operating his or her vehicle in a negligent manner, which caused the accident to occur.  In such a scenario, your personal injury claim or lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that injured you would be fairly straightforward.  You would file a claim with that driver’s insurer in connection with any damages and injuries that you may have suffered in the accident. Then, if the driver’s insurer offers you less than your claim is worth, you can pursue a lawsuit against the driver.

Private property is not all that different, but the rules applicable to accidents on public roads may not necessarily be applicable in these situations.  Nevertheless, the same concepts as to negligence remain true. If a party’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries or damages, then the victim would be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver that hit the victim.

How Parking Lot Accidents Can Be Different

Accidents on private property also can have some benefits for the injured party who is trying to seek full compensation for his or her injuries as compared with motor vehicle accidents that take place on public roads.  For example, there may be other people, rather than just the driver that injured you, to seek recovery against for any injuries or damages that you as the accident victim may have suffered in a parking lot accident.  For one, you would absolutely be entitled to pursue claims against the driver that hit you in a parking lot accident.  However, the parking lot’s owner also could be liable for not properly maintaining the parking lot if such a failure played any role in the occurrence of the accident.  If the accident took place at night, for example, then perhaps the parking lot was dimly lit because numerous lights were burnt out that the parking lot’s owner or operator had not bothered to fix.  Or perhaps the parking lot was full of potholes and the driver that hit you was trying to avoid his or her vehicle being swallowed up by a giant pothole.  In either circumstance, both the driver that actually hit you and the parking lot’s owner or operator could potentially be on the hook for whatever injuries and/or damages you suffered as a result of the incident.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. if You Have Been Injured in Florida

When you or a loved one suffers a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal assistance you can depend on to help you recover maximum compensation for those injuries. The experienced, skilled Florida personal injury lawyers at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. are adept at handling even the most complex personal injury claims, including complicated motor vehicle accidents involving accidents that took place on private property.  Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation.  Call us today at 877.694.6079 or email us at contact@schwedlawfirm.com at to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.