Parking lots are a breeding ground for accidents. Often, these accidents are minor rear-end or backing out collisions that are relatively straightforward. In other cases, pedestrians are the victim of parking lot accidents. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding these types of accidents, if you are left with a serious injury or lost a loved one, it is imperative you have an experienced lawyer by your side. The attorneys at AMA Law are currently working two parking lot cases that are very serious. In one instance, a car drove through a convenience store, crushing our client against the storefront. Not only was the victim left in shock, but they required a leg amputation below the knee.
In the other case, an older woman was killed after being struck by a car when crossing a parking lot crosswalk. Both of these cases may seem unique, but these kinds of incidents happen regularly throughout Oklahoma and the rest of the United States. There are many reasons for parking lot accidents, from driver negligence and distraction to poor signage. As we have seen from these two cases, parking lot accidents can be severe and result in life-changing injuries — or worse. At AMA Law, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers have your best interests in mind. We understand how shocking it is to find yourself the victim of an unfortunate accident and will do everything we can to fight for your rights.
If you were injured in an Oklahoma parking lot accident, or if you lost a loved one because of another driver’s negligence, contact AMA Law today and schedule a free consultation.
Parking Lot Accident Statistics
A typical parking lot is often bustling with cars moving in and out of parking spots, pedestrians, shopping carts, and children moving in every direction. Because of this, it is not unheard of that drivers may be distracted when running errands around town. According to research, roughly 20 percent of all car accidents happen in parking lots. Storefront accidents similar to the one our lawyers are currently working on also take place more often than most people realize. The National Safety Council states that more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and parking garages every single year across the country. These accidents result in an estimated 500 deaths and more than 60,000 injuries that range from minor to severe.
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
Many residential and commercial parking lots do not have clear traffic signals, stop signs, or marked pedestrian crosswalks. When combined with the lack of regulation in parking lots and the number of distractions out there today, it should come as no surprise that parking lot accidents happen all the time. Furthermore, many drivers admit to not paying as close attention when driving through a parking lot as they otherwise would. We know distraction is one of the leading causes of parking lot accidents, but what else can go wrong?
- Confusing signage
- Bad lighting
- Confusing traffic signals
- Poor maintenance
- Poor surface conditions
- Blind spots
- Poorly marked lanes
- Lack of space
While it’s true that the majority of parking lot accidents happen at low speeds, serious injuries can still occur as a result, especially when pedestrians are involved.
Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents
Many things can go wrong in a parking lot, resulting in an accident or fatality. Circling back around to the case mentioned above, the older adult who was killed in the crosswalk probably assumed all drivers would stop for her as she crossed. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. If you look around when driving, chances are you will see other drivers texting, talking on the phone, checking their makeup, yelling at their kids, and doing other actions that take their attention away from what matters — driving.
Some of the most common types of parking lot accidents that we see in Oklahoma include:
- Two cars back up into each other – Often, drivers hastily reverse out of a parking space without paying attention to what other vehicles are doing. In this example, neither driver has the right of way, and each is responsible for checking to make sure it is safe to back up. When it comes to getting in and out of a parking space, drivers must work together.
- A car pulls into traffic from a parking space – If you are pulling out of a parking space that is alongside a busy street, you must pay attention to the oncoming traffic — including cars, trucks, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Typically, drivers in the lane of traffic have the right of way, meaning the driver who is pulling out of the space must yield.
- A car backs out of a space into an oncoming vehicle – Whenever you reverse out of a parking space, you must check to make sure another car isn’t driving down the lane. You should also check for shoppers on foot who may be hidden by a blind spot or other obstruction. This is one of the most common types of parking lot accidents we see. When this happens, the driver who was backing out is usually responsible.
- Two cars attempt to get the same parking space – Parking lots can be competitive, no doubt about it. If two vehicles are vying for the same spot and aren’t letting up, it can result in an accident.
- Rear-end accidents – The last type of parking lot accident we will discuss today are rear-end collisions. When exiting or entering a parking lot or garage, you must pay attention to the actions of other drivers and look for any pedestrians. Stop signs are often in unexpected places in parking lots, which can take a driver by surprise and lead to a rear-end accident.
Unfortunately, innocent pedestrians often find themselves at the center of parking lot accidents here in Oklahoma. Given the nature of these incidents, serious injuries are common, resulting in never-ending medical bills and years of rehabilitation.
What to Do Following a Parking Lot Accident
If you have been involved in an Oklahoma parking lot accident, we encourage you to contact AMA Law today. The majority of these collisions are relatively straightforward, but when pedestrians or cyclists are involved, the results can be catastrophic. When a car collides with a storefront, for example, the results can be unsettling. Our lawyers have your best interests in mind and will do everything we can to ensure justice is served. If you were running errands with your child in the car and someone hit you, or if you lost a loved one in a tragic parking lot accident, contact AMA Law today and schedule a free consultation.