When most people think of car accidents, they often imagine horrific crashes on the major highways running through and around Chicago, or multi-car pileups that can close a city road for hours. However, these are not the only type of car accidents that can happen, nor are they the only ones that can cause serious injury. Accidents can happen in other places such as parking lots as well—and when they do, anyone injured as a result may be able to claim compensation for their damages.
Parking lot accidents are unique from other types of car accidents. Many drivers do not understand the rules of the road in parking lots and determining liability can be much more difficult in these cases. For these reasons and more, anyone involved in a parking lot accident should speak to a Chicago parking lot accident lawyer. Contact a skilled auto collision attorney about potential options for financial recovery.
Right-of-Way in Parking Lots
All drivers should understand that, just like on city streets, certain vehicles may have the right-of-way in a parking lot. The right-of-way belongs to the vehicles traveling along the travel lanes in which vehicles can drive but not park, such as in the aisles and along the front and back.
While this is a simple concept in theory, it can become confusing in practice. For example, if two parked cars were backing up into a travel lane and hit each other, determining liability can be difficult.
Determining Liability in Parking Lot Accidents
Identifying the liable party or parties in a parking lot accident depends largely on which driver was negligent, just as it does on the roads. However, while determining negligence is often easier in some situations, such as when a car rear-ends another in a travel lane, it can be difficult to determine in other cases.
In many instances, both involved parties share part of the blame for an accident. In the aforementioned example in which two cars back up and hit each other, for instance, both parties would likely be found negligent.
Determining who is negligent and liable for paying compensation can become very complicated in parking lot accident cases. A parking lot accident lawyer in Chicago should always be consulted when someone wants to file a lawsuit for these types of accidents, as they may be able to help sort out the facts of the case to determine liability.
Determining the Validity of a Lawsuit
There are many elements of proof needed in Chicago parking lot crash cases. One of those elements is that the plaintiff sustained injury or damages. The amount of injury or damages typically plays a large role in whether it is even a good idea to file a lawsuit in the first place.
If the accident is only a minor fender bender with no injuries and under $100 in damages, it may not be worth a person’s time—or the court’s—to file a lawsuit. Conversely, in a case involving no injuries but over $2,000 in damages to one party’s vehicle, the victim whose property was damaged may have valid grounds for a lawsuit.
The purpose of filing a civil lawsuit is almost always to claim compensation for damages and injuries. As such, there must be significant damages or injuries that would not be covered by the insurance company of the at-fault driver to make for a valid case. A Chicago parking lot accident attorney could help determine if a case has solid grounds for filing in civil court.
Consult with a Chicago Parking Lot Accident Attorney
While parking lot accidents are certainly unique in many ways from other types of car accidents, they have the same statute of limitations—in other words, the same time limit in which you must file a lawsuit. In parking lot accident cases, that time limit is just two years from the date of the accident.
This statute of limitations emphasizes the potential importance of speaking to a car accident attorney right away. There are a lot of facts to sort out in these cases, so time is often of the essence. If you were injured in a parking lot accident or suffered significant damage to your vehicle, speak to a Chicago parking lot accident lawyer right away for help pursuing your case.