Typically, when you think of auto accidents, you picture those that occur on the road, on highways, neighborhood streets, at intersections, etc. Yet, auto accidents occur in store parking lots, too, as well as school parking lots, restaurant parking lots, bar parking lots, and more. They even happen in multi-level car park facilities that you often have to navigate to park your vehicle before going into office buildings, sports arenas, hospitals, and casinos. Of course, an accident in a parking lot isn’t likely to be very serious is it? Everyone is probably moving pretty slow, and you aren’t likely to end up with too much property damage or injuries. Well, that’s what people tend to think, but that’s not always the case.
Even in accidents where everyone is moving slow, property damage and injuries can occur. Further, just because you’re in a parking lot doesn’t mean that everyone is moving slow all of the time. In fact, one frequent cause of auto accidents that occur in parking lots is the fact that some people don’t use the common sense required to go at an appropriate speed. Then, there are the accidents that occur because someone suddenly and unexpectedly backs out without paying attention, those that happen when one driver decides to go the wrong direction, and those that involve pedestrians. To further complicate matters, some parking lot auto accidents result in physical assault when patience runs out and tempers flare. For this reason, it is not uncommon for South Carolina auto accident attorneys to find themselves dealing with the victims of auto accidents that occur in parking lots.
Most Common Causes of South Carolina Parking Lot Accidents and the Resulting Injuries
The most common causes of auto accident that occur in parking lots involve multiple drivers backing out of parking spaces at the same time, unaware of each other, multiple drivers attempting to park in the same parking space, a single driver leaving a parking space without noticing other drivers or pedestrians in their path, and a single driver disregarding a crosswalk sign or stop sign in a parking lot.
The most common injuries that occur in such parking lot auto accidents include whiplash, soft tissue injuries, concussions, and broken bones. If you are surprised that such serious injuries can occur in accidents that usually take place at such low speeds, then you must remember that some people do speed in parking lots, and that many of these injuries are sustained by the pedestrians who are struck by the moving vehicles in parking lots. In situations where people are behaving aggressively, determined to beat someone else to that highly valuable space closest to the door, their speed and behavior might lead to an especially dangerous combination for anyone who gets in their way. For a pedestrian, struck by even a fairly slow moving vehicle, such incidents can still be disabling or even deadly.
What Should You Do After an Auto Accident Happens in a Parking Lot?
Most auto accidents involve some amount of frustration, and those that occur in parking lots can become especially heated. For this reason, our very first tip to follow after such an accident is to keep your cool, remain calm, and take a few deep breaths before you try to communicate with the other driver. If the other driver is acting angry and aggressive, then you might want to remain in your vehicle until that driver has a moment to collect their temper. Avoid a physical altercation. We make an important note of this because physical altercations are a common component of many parking lot accidents. If you are at a store or other place where you can notify security or management, then you should do so. You should also contact the police, even if the incident is fairly minor. If there are serious injuries, you need to contact emergency medical assistance.
From this point, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and gather the contact information of witnesses. Don’t discuss who was at fault. This can be difficult, especially if someone is directly accusing you, but the best thing to do is avoid commenting on this. Any attempt to defend yourself may turn into an argument, and any attempt to apologize may be considered to be an admission of fault. Take photos of the scene, the location of the vehicles, and any property damage or injuries, as these will be useful as evidence later on. Then, seek medical treatment. You may think that your injuries are minor, but they might turn out to be more serious. The sooner you seek treatment the better off you will be in terms of your health and recovery and in terms of documenting those injuries to enable you to seek compensation later.
Were You Injured in a Parking Lot Auto Accident in South Carolina?
With the holidays just behind us, there’s going to be a higher likelihood of people recovering from injuries caused by parking lot auto accidents. With so many people shopping and competing for parking spaces, getting stressed out and tired from the festivities, parking lots become more dangerous. Add in the potential for ice and slush, and there’s all too many ways for a parking lot accident to occur. If you or a loved one has been injured by a parking lot auto accident in South Carolina, contact the skilled Charleston, SC car crash attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices for a free consultation and find out how we can help you to recover compensation.