Whether you are out shopping with friends at the Riverchase Galleria or visiting the Birmingham Zoo with the family, nothing dampens a day quite like a parking lot accident. Car accidents in parking lots and garages are commonplace throughout the country. While some parking accidents may end in minor damages, others cause devastating injuries and death. In fact, many parking lot deaths occur because of cars backing into pedestrians. Even seemingly minor accidents may turn out to be serious if left unchecked.
No matter how minor an accident may seem, it is important to get checked out to be on the safe side. If you have suffered damages from a parking lot accident, contact one of our experienced Birmingham car accident lawyers for a free case evaluation. Norris Injury Lawyers is a family-owned law firm dedicated to helping Alabamans access quality legal representation in their time of need.
Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (800) 477-7510 and we can give you reliable legal advice you can trust.
Potential Scenarios That Can Result in a Parking Lot Accident
Despite vehicles operating at reduced speed, parking lot accidents can cause much frustration and damage for those involved. Sometimes an accident may occur in a parking lot without involving a vehicle, such as a slip-and-fall accident.
Common scenarios that can cause an accident in a parking lot include:
- Two vehicles backing out of their parking spaces and colliding with each other
- A driver reversing out of a parking space and hitting another vehicle or pedestrian
- A driver pulling forward out of a car park space and into the path of a passing vehicle
- Two vehicles competing for the same car space and colliding with each other
- A driver failing to stop in time and rear-ending another vehicle
- A driver hitting a parked car
- A person slipping and falling because of hazardous conditions in the parking lot
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot, you might be entitled to recover financial compensation for your damages. Talk to one of our parking lot accident lawyers today to find out how we can help you seek justice for your injuries. We can listen to your story and help you understand your rights.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Collisions
Not all serious accidents occur on the open highway. Parking lots are hotspots for car accidents, particularly around the hectic holiday season as drivers and pedestrians rush to get from one place to another. There are many factors that can contribute to a parking lot collision, as outlined below.
Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, up to 66 percent of drivers said they would use their mobile phones while driving through a parking lot for various tasks. It only takes a moment for a driver to become distracted and hit another vehicle, motorcycle, or pedestrian passing by.
Failure to follow traffic rules
You might assume that traffic laws only apply to public roads, but that is not the case. Although many parking lots and garages are located on private property, they usually have stop signs, marked one-way lanes, speed limits, and other road signs in place to ensure the safety of all visitors on the property.
All motorists must abide by the traffic rules when operating their vehicles in a parking lot. Failure to do so may result in a serious accident.
Parking lots and garages often have limited visibility and restricted space to maneuver a vehicle, so it can be difficult for a driver to see another car or pedestrian. A larger vehicle may obstruct a driver’s view when pulling out of the car park, which can lead to a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian.
During the hectic shopping season, some drivers rush to secure parking spots before others. Many resort to driving too fast, cutting across parking spaces, and ignoring stop signs to get a particular car park spot. Some drivers may even become aggressive; this can lead to a case of road rage.
Type of Parking Lot Collision Injuries
Even at slow speeds, car accidents can happen, resulting in serious injury to motorists or pedestrians. According to a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, parking lots present a high risk of injury and death in children. Small children and strollers are easy to miss if a driver fails to check properly.
Injuries can vary in severity, sometimes requiring a car accident victim to take a few weeks off from work, while more severe injuries may be life-long, changing a person’s life forever. Our lawyers understand the impact an injury can have on your life, which is why we strive to get fair compensation for each of our clients.
Types of injuries caused by parking lot accidents might include:
- Broken bones
- Bruising and lacerations
- Head and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal injuries
- Sprains and torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Determining Who is At Fault for a Parking Lot Accident
Depending on the circumstances of a parking lot crash, there may be one or multiple liable parties involved. A seasoned parking lot lawyer knows what evidence is needed to establish fault and hold accountable parties responsible for their actions.
Potentially responsible parties might include:
- Another driver
- The parking lot owner
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The county, city, or another government entity
All motorists must abide by traffic rules and obey stop signs when driving through a parking lot. Failure to do so will likely lead to a fender-bender or a more serious crash.
One important factor to consider when establishing fault is to determine who had the right-of-way. Generally, a person pulling out of a car park must yield to other drivers passing before exiting the parking space.
A driver turning left into a car park must wait for oncoming traffic to pass before making the turn. It can be tricky to determine fault when two vehicles reverse at the same time and collide with each other. A seasoned car accident lawyer, though, can use all his or her knowledge and resources to establish the facts to prove the other party’s negligence.
Parking lot owner
Parking lots and garages are often located on private property, such as at a shopping center or office building. Under premises liability law, property owners have a duty of care to ensure the premises are safe for all visitors. A property owner may thus be held partially liable for damages if they failed to keep the premises safe.
Unsafe conditions that can contribute to a parking lot accident include:
- Poor lighting conditions
- Pavement cracks or potholes
- Insufficient or broken signage
- Dangerous blind spots
- Unmarked concrete wheel stops
How the Contributory Negligence Rule Affects Your Case
Alabama is an at-fault state which means that the person who caused the crash is typically responsible for any accident-related costs. However, the State of Alabama follows the contributory negligence rule. This means that if it is found that you are even 1 percent responsible for your injuries, you can be barred from recovering damages.
With such strict negligence rules, it is not uncommon for an at-fault party or insurance company to try to place some of the blame on the victim, to avoid having to pay for damages. It is highly recommended to hire an experienced parking lot accident lawyer to defend your case. When we take on a case, our legal team fights aggressively to prove you are not to blame and deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries.
Establishing Negligence in the State of Alabama
To successfully recover compensation for your injuries caused by a parking lot accident, Alabama law requires you to prove your damages resulted from the negligence of another driver.
The following four factors must be established for cases involving negligent behavior:
- Duty of care: All motorists have a duty of care to obey all traffic laws and drive in a safe manner so as not to cause harm or damage to others
- Breach of duty: A driver breaches his or her duty of care by acting negligently, such as driving while distracted
- Causation: The driver’s negligent actions caused a crash with another vehicle and injured those involved
- Damages: The injuries sustained in the car accident resulted in financial damages, such as medical expenses and loss of income
Types of Compensation You Can Pursue in Alabama
Whether it was by another vehicle or unsafe property conditions, if you were injured in a parking lot accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. We at Norris Injury Lawyers know all too well the financial burden victims often face after suffering a serious injury. When we take on a parking lot accident case, we pursue the maximum amount of compensation available for our client.
Our lawyers seek both economic and non-economic damages for our clients including:
- Medical expenses (past, current, future)
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity (past, current, future)
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss or diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Funeral expenses
How Much Does a Birmingham Parking Lot Accident Lawyer Cost?
Norris Injury Lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay us a thing until we win your case and secure compensation for your damages. Our lawyers have successfully recovered millions of dollars of compensation for our client’s personal injuries.
When you hire our legal team, we offer our No Fee Guarantee®. This means you can rest assured we will do all we can to win you what you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our parking lot accident lawyers and find out what legal options are available to you.
Time Limits for Filing a Car Accident Claim in Alabama
Alabama imposes strict time limits for filing a claim or lawsuit for personal injury cases. If you wish to seek compensation for injuries caused by a parking lot accident, you must file your documentation within 2 years from the accident. Failure to submit your claim on time will most likely result in your case being rejected; you would essentially miss out on your opportunity to recover anything for your damages.
The team at Norris Injury Lawyers understands the importance of carefully preparing all legal documentation and evidence needed to avoid any unnecessary delays. If you choose to hire us to represent your parking lot accident case, you can have the confidence that we will submit your claim and supporting documents on time. We are dedicated to helping our clients reach a successful outcome so they can look to the future with hope.
Benefits of Hiring a Birmingham Parking Lot Accident Attorney
While some accident victims may try to tackle the legal system on their own to save on legal fees, many realize it is much harder than it seems. It is especially difficult when another party or insurance company challenges your claim with the contributory negligence rule. They do this to block you from receiving any compensation.
Hiring an experienced parking lot accident lawyer can save you a lot of time, energy, and stress. Our goal as a personal injury law firm is to help our clients get the compensation they deserve so they can focus on what really matters.
Duties our parking lot accident lawyers carry out include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident scene
- Collecting evidence such as videos, photos, reports, and affidavits
- Interviewing witnesses and collecting statements
- Managing all correspondence and negotiations with insurance companies
- Consulting with medical experts for supporting evidence
- Submitting legal documents within the required time frames
- Filing a lawsuit with the courts if necessary
- Keeping our client informed on any case developments
Talk to a Birmingham Parking Lot Accident Lawyer to Understand Your Rights
The team at Norris Injury Lawyers has over 40 years of experience fighting for the legal rights of Alabamans and others across the nation. We provide Birmingham residents access to quality legal representation without the worry of upfront costs and hidden fees.
If you choose to hire us, you can be assured that we will listen with empathy and we will take the time to ensure you understand each step of the legal process. Your needs are our priority, and our legal team is well-versed in personal injury law and knows exactly what evidence is needed to defend the rights of our clients.
Call us at (800) 477-7510 to discuss your parking lot accident case with an experienced attorney today.