Most parking lot accidents are low-speed collisions with minimal damage to the vehicles and few injuries. However, it is still important to take the right steps to protect yourself in case you need to file an insurance claim or an injury lawsuit later.
What if a driver hit my car when I was not there?
If another driver hit your car while you were away from the vehicle, check to see if the other driver left a note. A note should include contact information for the person, and/or information about his insurance company.
Having this information makes it much easier to file a claim later on. Whether the other driver left a note or not, it is paramount that you take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and take the right steps to document the incident before leaving the parking lot.
What if I am involved in a parking lot collision while in my car?
In some cases, you may be involved in a parking lot accident while you are either driving or sitting in your parked car. When this occurs, you should:
- Check for injuries: If you, any of your passengers or anyone in the other vehicle suffer injuries, call for medical assistance immediately.
- Make sure other drivers can see you: Turn on your emergency flashers so other motorists can see your vehicle.
- Document the scene: If possible, take pictures to document the scene before the other driver moves his vehicle.
- Exchange information: Get the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of the other driver, and offer yours to them.
How should I document the scene?
In order to best protect yourself after a parking lot accident, it is important to take the right steps to document the incident. To do this, you should:
- Notify security: If the parking lot or garage has a security patrol, having them complete an incident report can help you with your insurance claim later.
- Call police: Call the police if there is property damage or injuries from the crash.
- Call your insurance company: Even if there is little damage, it is important to notify your insurance company.
- Document the damage: Take pictures with your cell phone camera to show the damage to the vehicle, how you parked your car, and the area where the incident occurred.
- Look for witnesses: Ask others in the area if they saw anything. Write down their names and contact information if they did.
- Ask about surveillance cameras: Many parking lots have surveillance cameras that may have caught the accident. While the businesses may not allow you to watch the tape, they will give access to your insurance adjustor, your lawyer, or police if it becomes necessary.
Can I hold anyone else liable for a parking lot accident?
In addition to the drivers involved, there are also a number of other sources of liability in an accident. Parking lots are full of constantly moving objects, including cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. Other hazards can also exist, from shopping carts to speed bumps to potholes.
Sometimes, you can hold those responsible for these hazards liable for injuries or property damage sustained in a parking lot. Most commonly, this is the parking lot owner, who had not repaired dangerous potholes or otherwise maintained the parking lot properly.
How can Max Meyers Law PLLC help?
If another driver hit you in a parking lot accident in Washington State, a car accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC may be able to help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills or damage to your vehicle. We will dissect your case, determine liability, and gather the evidence to prove it. Contact our Seattle area office by calling 425-242-5595 today.