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Who Is Liable for Damages Caused in a Parking Lot Accident?

Posted on in Accident Liability

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.

Contact a Lake County Parking Lot Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in a parking lot, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to learn about your legal options. Call our office at 847-662-3303 today to set up a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Waukegan car accident attorney. For health reasons, in-person consultations are extremely limited at this time, but we would be happy to arrange a telephone conference to discuss your situation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+11+Art%2E+IX&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=126100000&SeqEnd=127300000

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/11.00.pdf

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