Who is Liable in Parking Accidents? - Catalano Law

Who is Liable in Parking Accidents?

Parking accidents can be more than just minor inconveniences. Rear-end collisions and backing incidents can cause property damage and serious injury, leaving you with repair bills and medical expenses.

When it comes to determining liability, the situation can quickly become complex. Knowing who is at fault for your injuries can help you recover compensation to pay for damages. You can work with a skilled car accident lawyer from Catalano Law to help determine liability in your parking collision and seek a settlement for your expenses.

Here are some of the parking accident scenarios you could encounter:

Rear-End Collision

When a driver tailgates another vehicle in a parking lot, it can cause a rear-end accident. Following too closely is a form of aggressive driving. Without enough distance between two cars in a parking lot, the rear driver does not have enough time to brake when the front vehicle comes to a stop. A rear-end accident can lead to bumper damage and head or neck injuries like whiplash.

New York law presumes that a driver who rear-ends a stopped or slowed-down vehicle is at fault. This is because drivers must maintain a reasonable distance from the other vehicles in front of them and be ready to stop. Drivers who fail to do so and cause rear-end crashes typically bear responsibility for the incident.

Failure To Yield

Drivers have the responsibility to yield to other vehicles at intersections and crosswalks. When a driver approaches a stop sign in a parking area, they must come to a complete stop. Once the vehicle has stopped, it must yield to any vehicle entering the intersection from another road or moving so closely that it poses an immediate hazard. While turning left, drivers should yield to cars heading toward them, even without traffic signals or signs.

Yielding to other vehicles when looking for a parking space involves judging other cars’ movements based on speed and the current traffic conditions. However, a driver may fail to assess if it is safe to drive at a parking lot intersection and might move ahead of the other vehicle with the right of way. Drivers who fail to yield to oncoming traffic can be held responsible if they cause a collision.

Improper Backing

Drivers can be liable for a parking crash if they don’t check for other cars while backing out of parking spaces. State law restricts backing up unless it’s safe and doesn’t disrupt traffic.

Poor Visibility

An overloaded vehicle with cargo that blocks the driver’s view and prevents them from controlling their vehicle is illegal in New York. If a parking accident occurs, the failure of the driver to maintain proper visibility and control may increase their liability.

Negligent Parking

A driver can be responsible for parking accidents when they park in a way that impedes other vehicles. For instance, they might park directly next to a car on the street or not leave enough space for other drivers to maneuver and park their cars. This can lead to a collision when the other drivers have difficulty exiting and entering their parking spaces.

Parking a car on a crosswalk or an intersection can obstruct the path of vehicles and pedestrians trying to cross the street and parking areas. Vehicles may have to drive around parked cars, blocking traffic flow and potentially causing an accident. In these cases, the driver who parked negligently may be liable for damages resulting from an accident.

Parking Lot Hazards

Parking lot owners must maintain a safe environment with regular inspections and proactive steps to prevent injuries. They must address hazards and defects in their parking facilities, including repairing light fixtures, fixing potholes, and maintaining clear parking lanes.

If a parking lot owner fails to repair these defects and an accident occurs, they may be responsible for damages under New York premises liability laws. 

Hit-and-Run Accidents

A hit-and-run happens when a driver hits a parked car or pedestrian and drives off without stopping. In New York State, drivers must remain at the accident scene involving property damage and injuries to people and pets. They must also file a police report within 10 days of the accident for property damage over $1,000.

If a driver fled the scene and didn’t file a police report, you can work with a car accident lawyer to help investigate the incident. Your attorney can interview witnesses and obtain surveillance footage to identify the other driver and hold them responsible for your injuries. 

Because New York requires personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and uninsured motorists coverage, your attorney can help you file a claim with your own insurance to pay for your expenses even if the hit-and-run driver cannot be found.

Contact Catalano Law After a Parking Accident

Identifying liability in a parking accident is a complex process that requires knowledge of New York law. Our attorneys at Catalano Law have decades of experience with New York auto accident cases.

We will evaluate the details of your accident, determine if another driver or property owner’s negligence contributed to your injuries, and seek compensation for your damages. Contact us for a free evaluation today to help you get started on your case.

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