Car accidents don’t always involve speeding vehicles, squealing brakes, twisted metal, or shattered glass, a roll-over or spectacular explosion. But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that 20 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in parking lots. Most are low-speed fender benders. But they can still cause a lot of property damage and even serious personal injuries, such as whiplash and other soft-tissue neck and back injuries.

The Eastern Kentucky parking lot accident lawyers at the Johnson Law Firm understand that many factors that contribute to any accident. We investigate them all and hold all responsible parties accountable for their negligence while we shield you from unfair blame. If you are a driver, passenger, or pedestrian involved in any vehicle accident that was not your fault, we’ll help you recover the compensation you deserve for all your losses.

Call us at 606-433-0682 or fill out our contact form. We’re ready to help, beginning with a free initial consultation. We handle accident claims from anywhere in Kentucky, but concentrate in Pikeville and surrounding areas.

The Hazards of Parking Lots

Parking lots are unique spaces where motorists become pedestrians and vice versa. They can be quite congested at times, especially during holidays when drivers jockey for primo spots closest to the door. Most lots are private property and not subject to the majority of our traffic laws.  Nevertheless, there is still a general duty of care on every driver. All are expected to not drive recklessly and to exchange insurance information if there is accident.

Even if it’s minor, you should report it to your insurance company for maximum protection.

One of the biggest parking lot perils is backing up. Never rely solely on mirrors or rear-view cameras. Instead, turn your head 180 degrees to check in both directions. If parked between larger cars, back out as slowly as possible. Private parking lot owners have a legal duty to take reasonable efforts to maintain safe conditions.

How You can Avoid a Parking Lot Accident

  • Don’t park at the end of an aisle, where your car is vulnerable to being hit by cornering vehicles.
  • Don’t try to force your Suburban into a space marked for compact cars.
  • Never park in front of hydrants or in the access aisle of a disability parking space.
  • Give folks enough space so they can open their doors.
  • If you have a handicapped placard, hang it from your mirror only when the car is parked and remove it when you leave.
  • Obey all crosswalks as if you’re on a city street.
  • Park only in designated spaces.
  • If you can pull into a parking spot where you can later pull forward to exit, do it.
  • Put on your blinker six to eight feet before the space you want.
  • People carrying packages, pushing carts, looking at mobile phones or tending to children may be distracted. So give them the right of way. And don’t allow yourself to be a distracted pedestrian when you’re walking about a parking lot; others may not be so kind.
  • Keep alert for cars cutting across rows, driving too fast or ignoring signs.
  • Buckle up before you turn the key.

Other Problems Associated with Parking Lots

Store owners are also responsible for keeping their parking lots generally safe and providing measures to thwart injuries when cars crash into stores. Vehicle-into-building crashes kill about 500 people a year, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. There are three primary causes: driver error, poor parking lot design, and the owner’s failure to install barriers such as short posts – known as bollards – in front of their business.

When an accident happens from negligence by the property owner (or renter), injured victims may file claims against at least the property owner/renter, and possibly the driver’s insurance company too.

State law also holds retail property owners and renters responsible for keeping ALL of their premises reasonably safe for “invitees” (shoppers) from harms that that could also include robberies and assaults in their parking lots. Shrubbery or piles of snow that block signs, uneven surfaces, and faulty lighting are just a few of the risks that can increase vehicle accidents and assaults on parking lot pedestrians and must be addressed by lot owners. You can get a good idea if a parking lot is safe or not by looking for the following clues:

  • Poor exterior and parking lot lighting
  • Inadequate security presence
  • Few (or no) visible security cameras
  • Failure of personnel to respond to a security alert
  • No posted warnings of traffic or security-related dangers.

Do You Need the Assistance of a Parking Lot Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been hurt in a parking lot anywhere in the Bluegrass State, the experienced legal team at the Billy Johnson Law Firm can help. We fight hard to earn every penny of the compensation you deserve. Protect your rights by calling us at 606-433-0682 or by filling out our contact form to arrange a free assessment of your case.

Billy has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report and an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer. He is also a proud member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Put his experience to work for you.