West Palm Beach Parking Lot Attorneys

Did you know that you have a right to be compensated when you are injured in a parking lot in Florida? Personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach can help you recover the costs you incurred for medical expenses and other damages as a result of the accident.

During the summer, there is no better way to spend the day in Florida than at the beach or one of the state’s parks. However, everyone seems to come out to enjoy the great weather, and this means one thing: overcrowded parking lots. 

Most parking lots are usually crowded with pedestrians and vehicles. This explains why parking lot collisions are common in Florida during the summer.

Parking lot collisions can either be minor or severe. If you sustain serious injuries from a parking lot collision, you should hire an attorney to help you. 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PARKING LOT COLLISIONS?

Florida parking lots are usually full of vehicles and pedestrians. Therefore, it is no wonder that parking lot collisions are reported on a regular basis. Here are the most commonly-reported collisions:

  • A driver backs into another vehicle when exiting a parking space.
  • A driver collides with other vehicles that may be around when pulling out from a parking spot.
  • A driver rear-ends another vehicle in the parking lot.
  • Two drivers collide when trying to pull into the same space at the same time. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN INVOLVED IN A PARKING LOT COLLISION?

It is important to know what to do if you are involved in a parking lot accident. Immediately after the crash you should start gathering as much information as possible. Thoroughly documenting the event can strengthen your personal injury claim.

Follow these steps after a collision:

CALL 911

The first step to take after a collision is to call Florida authorities. If the accident occurred on private property, a law enforcement officer may or may not be sent to the scene. If there are injuries, authorities will always respond to the accident.

If the accident was in a parking lot of a privately owned store of business, the police may not file a report. However, you should still call to report the accident.

CHECK FOR INJURIES

In most cases, parking lot accidents occur at low speeds. However, they can still cause injuries. If you are involved in a parking lot accident, check whether you and the other passengers in your vehicle have sustained any injuries. Regardless of whether or not you have been seriously injured, go to the hospital or your doctor for an evaluation on the same day.

According to Florida’s no-fault laws, personal injury victims are required to get treatment within 14 days after the accident in order to qualify for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. It can be difficult for the insurance company  to know how much your claim is worth if you don’t have medical records outlining the extent of your injuries.

DOCUMENT EVIDENCE OF THE ACCIDENT

Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. In particular, take photographs of the vehicles involved, showing where there is damage. Also, capture the surrounding areas. 

If the other driver is claiming that their view was obstructed, take a photo of the object that blocked their view. If you believe that poor weather or parking lot conditions contributed to the accident, take photographs to back up your claim. 

You can also take videos of the scene to get a 360-degree view of the aftermath of the accident.

OBTAIN INFORMATION FROM WITNESSES 

Unless you were in the parking lot very late at night, it is likely that other people witnessed the accident. If there are people around, talk to them to find out what they saw. Record short statements from the witnesses and write down their contact information, if they are willing to provide it. 

Collecting personal information from the witnesses is important just in case you need to reach them in the future to ask them something about the accident.

EXCHANGE INFORMATION WITH OTHER DRIVERS 

After an accident, it is standard practice for the people involved to exchange contact information. At the minimum, ask for the other driver’s contact information, their license, and insurance information. To make your work easier, simply photograph the IDs or insurance cards that the driver provides instead of writing information down.

WHAT ARE THE FLORIDA TRAFFIC LAWS FOR PARKING LOTS?

Some Florida parking lots do not have speed limit signs. However, the law states that drivers should not exceed 10 to 15 miles per hour when driving in parking lots. Apart from that, the standard traffic rules, such as obeying one-way traffic arrows and signage, apply when driving in a parking lot.

HOW IS FAULT DETERMINED IN PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS?

Unless someone has been injured, Florida authorities do not typically respond to minor accidents that happen on private property. Therefore, the parties involved have to determine who was at fault on their own. This is why it is important to take pictures and collect witness statements at the scene of the crash to build your case. If the parking lot has surveillance cameras, the footage will prove helpful in determining fault.

If you are injured in a parking lot accident in Florida, contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation. While you can file a claim without the help of a lawyer, you may find the process overwhelming. Moreover, the insurance companies will take advantage of your lack of legal experience, which can affect the outcome of your case.

The law affords you certain rights when you sustain injuries in a parking lot accident. However, to ensure those rights are protected, you need an experienced attorney on your side.

HOW MUCH COMPENSATION ARE YOU ENTITLED TO AFTER A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT?

The damages you are entitled to after a parking lot accident will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Whether you had any role to play in the events that led to the accident
  • How quickly you want to settle
  • Your negotiating skills 
  • The total cost of medical bills resulting from your injuries

It is prudent to hire a personal injury attorney to take over your case and handle the negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney will keep your interests first and ensure you end up getting a fair settlement.