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IL injury lawyerWhen most people think about car accidents, they picture accidents that occur on highways and roads. However, many car accidents occur in parking lots. Motorists in parking lots are often traveling at lower speeds than they would on the road, but serious and even deadly parking lot accidents still occur. If you or a loved one were hurt in a parking lot accident, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.

Liability for a Parking Lot Collision

A parking lot accident can leave an injured person with expensive medical bills, vehicle damage, and other costs. Before you can seek compensation for a parking lot accident, you and your attorney will need to establish how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Liability for a parking lot accident claim can fall to a number of parties. Often, another driver is at fault. However, if the parking lot accident was caused or exacerbated by defects with the parking lot itself, the owner of the parking lot may also be liable. It is also possible that the injured person shares fault for the accident. Fortunately, Illinois is modified comparative negligence state. This means that you may still be entitled to compensation for an accident even if you contributed to the accident. As long as you are not more than 51 percent at fault, you may still be able to recover partial damages.

Proving the Elements Needed to Win Your Claim

There are four main elements in a parking lot accident claim. First is that the defendant owed a duty of care. All drivers have a duty to watch out for pedestrians, yield the right-of-way when appropriate, and drive in a safe, responsible manner. The second element is the breach of duty. Next is causation. You and your attorney will need to show that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries. Finally, you will need to show that you sustained damages. Damages may include vehicle damage, medical bills, lost income from missed work, and more. Evidence such as security camera footage, police reports, eyewitness statements, and medical records are often used to establish each of these elements in a personal injury claim.

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IL injury lawyerParking lots can be chaotic – especially when drivers are not following proper parking lot protocol. Drivers may cut across parking spaces, travel the wrong way, fail to yield to pedestrians and make other risky maneuvers. Although vehicles moving through parking lots are typically traveling at low speeds, there is still a potential for car accidents involving serious injuries or even fatalities. If you or a loved one were involved in a parking lot car accident, you may have questions about how liability is determined and whether you or your loved one are entitled to compensation.

Right of Way Rules in Parking Lots

Before you can recover compensation through a personal injury claim, you and your lawyer will need to determine the party or parties responsible for the accident. Liability for a parking lot accident is largely dependent on right of way rules. Drivers in “feeder lanes” or side lanes are expected to yield to drivers in the main thoroughfares. Drivers exiting a parking space must yield to all other vehicles. Every driver should be attentive to their surroundings and watchful for pedestrians. Children are especially vulnerable to injury in parking lots. Not only do children often run and dart between vehicles, they are also smaller and less visible to drivers.

Distracted Drivers and Unlawful Drivers

Despite countless public service announcements and programs designed to curb distracted driving, texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving continue to be a problem. If a driver was looking at his or her phone, GPS, or radio dial instead of looking at the road at the time of the accident, he or she may be considered negligent. If the other driver was intoxicated, he or she will almost certainly be considered at-fault for the accident. However, proving that a driver was distracted, inebriated, or otherwise not following the law is not always easy. Your lawyer may use police reports, surveillance footage, photographs of the accident, and other types of evidence to prove fault.

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Lake County accident liability attorneysConcerns about the coronavirus have caused many grocery store items to be much scarcer than they normally are. Items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bleach are flying off shelves minutes after being stocked. Store parking lots across the country are packed with hurried customers stocking up on supplies, so the risk of parking lot car accidents is especially troubling. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot, you may wonder who is legally responsible for the accident.

Liability in Parking Lot Car Accidents

Some people assume that parking lots are basically free-for-all zones which are outside the bounds of traffic laws. However, parking lots do have right-of-way rules that drivers are expected to follow. When drivers disregard these rules, serious vehicle or pedestrian collisions can occur. The two main types of parking lot lanes are feeder lanes and thoroughfare lanes. Feeder lanes are the smaller lanes between rows of parking spaces and thoroughfares are the wider lanes that typically exit to the main street. Drivers in thoroughfares usually have the right-of-way. However, regardless of the type of lane, all drivers must yield to approaching vehicles and pedestrians. Anyone entering or exiting a parking space is expected to yield to pedestrian and vehicle traffic around them and only move the vehicle if the coast is clear. If a driver causes an accident because he or she disregarded right-of-way rules, it is likely that this driver will be liable for the damages caused in the accident.

Common Issues That Lead to Parking Lot Accidents

Distracted driving is a major problem in parking lots. Children in the backseat, cell phones, GPS systems, the radio, or other distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road and can cause him or her to make dangerous mistakes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and inexperienced drivers are also responsible for a large percentage of parking lot accidents. Most of the time, if a driver strikes another vehicle that is legally parked, the driver of the moving vehicle is at fault. If both cars were moving at the time of the accident, fault may lie with one or both drivers depending on the circumstances of the accident. It is important to note that in Illinois, a person who is injured or suffers property damage in a car accident may still be eligible for limited compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysAt grocery stores, shopping centers, and business parks throughout the region, it is not uncommon to see drivers scrambling to find convenient parking spaces. In most parking lots, you can expect the constant movement of cars and pedestrians—the combination of which can easily lead to an injury-causing accident.

Accidents in a parking lot are often caused by drivers not paying attention for various reasons. For example, drivers may distracted by their phones or by small children in the car. Regardless of the cause of distraction or inattentiveness, the outcome is too often an accident involving another car or a pedestrian.

Determining Who Is at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident

The popular belief is that fault in a parking lot crash is equally shared by the drivers involved. However, this is not always the case. A parking lot accident is handled the same way as any other accident on the road would be. This is because parking lots have right-of-way rules that must also be followed and obeyed. A driver who did not yield to another driver or pedestrian with the right of way is likely to be found liable if an accident were to occur.

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