Parking Lot Accidents
Many accidents happen in parking lots. Sometimes drivers follow different rules than those they would follow on the road, even though other vehicles are nearby. They may talk on their cell phones, talk with someone else in the car, or speed through a busy parking lot with limited visibility in order to cut through traffic. They may fail to pay attention to their environment and hit a pedestrian or another vehicle. At the Dean Law Firm, our car accident attorneys can assist people in the Ocala area with pursuing the compensation that they deserve.Seeking Damages from a Careless Florida Driver
Parking lots are usually private property, and thus some of the laws associated with moving vehicles on public roads may not apply. Most of these accidents are the result of negligence. To assert the right to compensation, the victim would need to prove the defendant's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages.
For example, if the defendant is backing out of a parking spot when an accident occurs, it is his or her responsibility to yield to traffic driving through the lot. It may be necessary to back out slightly and look both ways to determine whether it is safe to back out all the way. Failure to yield to an oncoming vehicle can result in damages.
Sometimes the two drivers in an accident completely disagree about what happened. They may both claim they were paying attention and that the other car came out of nowhere and crashed into them. It may be necessary to look at where the impact occurs and the extent of damage to determine who is at fault for the accident.
For example, if someone is recklessly speeding through the parking lot and taking turns quickly, that driver might be partially or fully responsible for damage to a car that was slowly backing out. The damage to the vehicle that was struck may be so extensive that an accident reconstruction specialist will be able to testify as to the opinion that the crash was the fault of the speeder and not the driver backing out of the spot.
In some situations, both parties may be at fault for a parking lot accident. Florida follows the rule of comparative negligence. This means that more than one person can be assigned fault for causing an accident, and damages may be reduced by a victim's degree of fault. For example, if the jury finds that a person’s damages were $100,000, but he or she was 10% at fault, that person likely will only be able to recover $90,000 from a defendant who is found liable. These damages can cover both economic and non-economic costs and losses, ranging from medical expenses and lost wages to property damage and pain and suffering.Consult an Ocala Attorney for Your Injury Claim
Unlike with public road accidents, it can be more difficult to get the police to come out and get involved in a parking lot accident because they usually occur on private property. The injury lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can counsel victims in Ocala and the surrounding areas, such as Crystal River, on their rights and options following a car crash. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form to schedule a free consultation. We represent injured individuals from communities throughout Sumter, Lake, Marion, Citrus, and Levy Counties.