When Atlanta drivers are navigating their way through traffic in the parking lot of the Mall of Georgia or other parking lots, drivers are rarely concerned that they will be involved in a car accident. The low rate of speed that most drivers employ when negotiating a parking lot creates a false sense of security.
Many parking lot accidents occur each year throughout Georgia. Although these auto accidents frequently result in only property damage, vehicle occupants can suffer significant injuries even at low rates of speed. A study conducted by GM revealed that more than half of all accidents that result in injury occur at speeds less than eight mph. Whiplash, which is a serious and common soft tissue injury associated with low speed parking lot accidents, affects vehicle occupants in 53 percent of all car accidents.
It is easy to be misled by low speeds and lack of substantial property damage in a parking lot accident into believing that you have not suffered significant injury. The reality is that significant medical conditions often start with only minor symptoms. If you suffer even minor symptoms, you should seek prompt medical attention. Many injuries that are common in low speed collisions like whiplash can be extremely debilitating and require months of medical treatment.
The process of determining liability in a parking lot accident can be complicated and highly contentious because traffic laws do not ordinarily apply since most parking lots are private property. As a general rule, a driver who backs into another driver will often be at-fault because vehicles are not supposed to back up unless it is safe to do so. This general rule may not apply depending on the circumstances of your parking lot accident. If a vehicle is speeding through the parking lot at an unsafe speed, for example, this general rule will not apply. The issue of fault is often subject to intense dispute in parking lot accident lawsuits.
If you suffer even the most minor injuries in a parking lot accident, you should summon the police so that a police report is prepared. The officer will create a record of the position of the vehicles and take pictures of the damage to the vehicles. This evidence can help later when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company on the issue of liability. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your parking lot accident, any number of parties may be liable or share responsibility including other drivers, parking lot attendants, the property owner or other parties that contribute to a parking lot accident.
Our Atlanta parking lot auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast.