In typical New Jersey parking lots, you’ll find pedestrians, shopping carts and vehicles constantly moving in every direction. Numerous things like dealing with noisy kids or talking on cell phones often distract drivers. All this complicates the situation. You might think that most accidents occur on busy roadways, but plenty of them happen in parking lots every day.
For the most part, wrecks that occur in parking lots aren’t that different from other types of auto accidents. There are a few key distinctions to be aware of, though.
Slower speeds on impact
Parking lot accidents usually happen at low speeds. If a wreck is between two vehicles, the issue might not be that severe. However, an accident involving a pedestrian can cause serious injury or even death.
Parking lots are private property
The law considers most parking lots to be privately owned. Drivers still have a legal responsibility to drive safely, though. If you’re involved in a parking lot accident, you should take the same steps you would if you got into an accident on a roadway:
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Call 911 if medical attention is necessary.
- Exchange information with others.
- Contact the police.
- Contact your insurance company.
How to protect yourself if you get into a parking lot accident
Since parking lots are privately owned, the police may not respond, which means you might not have a police report to give to your insurance company. That’s why it’s important to gather as much information as possible on your own. Make notes about the event while it’s still fresh in your mind. Take plenty of pictures, and gather contact information from witnesses.
Most importantly, if you’re hurt, go to the doctor right away to assess any medical problems. You might also wish to discuss your legal options with an attorney.