Parking lots can be riskier than you think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a report estimating that nearly one in five motor vehicle accidents in the United States take place in parking lots or parking garages.
Even though people are supposed to drive slowly and carefully in them, parking lot accidents still can and do occur, occasionally resulting in severe injuries and even death.
If you were injured in a parking lot collision, the car accident attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC want to hear your story. We have helped accident victims in Wisconsin for more than 20 years and we know what it takes to recover the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in a parking lot, consider taking the following steps.
Starting with yourself, check the occupants of your vehicle for any injuries. Do not treat anyone beyond your training and do not move anyone unless there is imminent danger, such as a fire. Wait for emergency medical personnel to treat those seriously injured.
In Wisconsin, you are required by law to report any accident that involves injury or significant property damage. Once police respond to the accident scene, give an honest account of what happened. Obtain the officer’s name, badge number, and precinct so you can request a copy of the accident report.
Police may not respond to minor fender benders in private parking lots, but it is still necessary to notify them of the collision. These types of claims are generally handled through insurance companies, which may include the insurance provider of the parking lot’s owner if conditions in the lot were partially to blame for causing the accident.
Wait for emergency workers to evaluate your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to be taken to a hospital for emergency treatment. However, if you are treated at the scene of the accident and released, you may take additional steps to build your case.
Get the name, driver’s license number, insurance information, and contact information from all of the drivers involved in the collision. If another driver seems angry, aggressive, or incapacitated, ask the responding police officer to obtain the information for you.
If you are able, use your cell phone to photograph the accident scene. Take pictures of the crash area from multiple angles and positions. Capture images of any injuries, vehicle damage, and signage on the site.
If any bystanders witnessed the collision, ask them what they saw and request their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can support your claim.
You will need to inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, even if it wasn’t your fault. It is important to notify your insurer within the timeframe specified in your insurance policy in order to ensure your losses are covered.
When speaking with your insurer, be honest but mindful of what you discuss. Do not admit fault and politely refrain from giving a statement until you have spoken with an attorney. Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
After a serious parking lot accident, you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. Parking lot accidents can be complex and involve the liability of more than just the other driver. If the condition of the parking lot or parking garage contributed to the accident, the owner of the property could be held partly responsible for the damage.
At Studinski Law, LLC, our seasoned car accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate the cause of your crash, gather evidence to support your claim, determine the value of your losses, and pursue the maximum compensation you need and deserve.
Accidents that occur in private parking lots are similar to other traffic accidents in certain ways. If you were hit by another driver who was distracted, intoxicated, or failed to yield the right of way, an investigation will be conducted and a case will be built to hold the negligent driver responsible for his or her actions.
If the driver who caused the accident was operating his or her own vehicle, you may file a claim against that driver’s insurance company. However, if the at-fault driver was in a company vehicle, or on-duty at the time of the collision, you may also file a claim against the insurance company of the driver’s employer.
Additionally, in matters of parking lot accidents, Wisconsin law stipulates the following:
In some cases, parking lot accidents are not the fault of another driver at all. If the crash occurred due to the parking lot’s pavement or signage, then the owner of the lot, the business, or the municipality may be held accountable for the resulting damage.
If you’ve been injured in a parking lot or parking garage accident, the experienced car accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC can help. We are committed to helping accident victims recover the justice and compensation they need to move forward.
Contact Studinski Law, LLC today online or at (715) 343-2850 for a free case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Wisconsin, including Plover and Marshfield.