Many people underestimate the dangers of car accidents in parking lots, but they happen every day. While you might think that you don’t need a Houston car crash attorney for a parking lot accident, in some cases an attorney can make a big difference for your claim. Unfortunately, many people assume their claim will be easy because it happened in a parking lot, only to find out otherwise. There may be many challenges along the way. Therefore, it’s important to consider your situation before deciding not to hire an attorney for your parking lot accident.
Don’t Assume You Don’t Need a Houston Car Crash Attorney for Parking Lot Accidents
As we mentioned, many people find out the hard way just how complicated parking lot accident cases can be. So, consider all your options if you’re faced with filing a claim or lawsuit after an accident in a parking lot.
You can Still Get Injured in a Parking Lot Crash
Most parking lot car accidents happen at low speeds. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that no one will get injured. Even at slower speeds, you still may experience injuries which can make your claim more complex.
Most parking lots have a speed limit of 15 miles per hour or less. Now, this may seem quite slow when you’re driving, but it can cause a lot of damage. Even if your car escapes with just a scratch or even no damage at all, your body might not. It’s still a lot of force on your body to go from 10 or 15 miles per hour down to 0 in a split second. If another car hits yours in a parking lot, you can still experience soft tissue damage, bruises, and even more serious injuries like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries.
Pedestrian accidents are also incredibly common in parking lots. Parking lots are quite unique in that cars and people often need to use the same space to navigate to their destination. This can increase the risk of being hit by a car walking to or from your vehicle. Pedestrians can suffer severe injuries or even death in parking lots, even if the car is going relatively slow.
Any time an accident involves an injury, it’s important to consider all your options. Injuries can complicate accident cases, so many people choose to hire a Houston car crash attorney for help with the process and to advocate for them.
Adjusters May Still Try to Trick You
Often one of the worst parts of an accident is dealing with insurance adjusters. Adjusters are trained to negotiate Houston auto accident settlements to pay you as little as possible. This keeps profits high for the insurance company. However, this often means trying to convince you to take a lower settlement than what your claim is worth. Adjusters also often use wordplay and tricks to get you to accept a lower amount.
For parking lot accidents, adjusters may use several different tactics to get you to undervalue your claim. For example, they may say that normal liability laws don’t apply because parking lots are usually private property, or that normal traffic laws don’t apply in parking lots. Now, this typically isn’t the case. If the other driver was negligent, then they’re likely liable for your damages and injuries. However, negotiating with the adjuster can be difficult without legal expertise and experience dealing with adjusters.
Proving Fault Can be Difficult
Another issue you may run into for your parking lot accident case is difficulty proving fault. There are a few reasons for this. First, police often don’t respond to parking lot accidents, so you may not have a police report to help back your claim. Also, with so many drivers traveling in different directions, often without any signs or traffic control devices, proving who had the right of way may be quite complicated. An attorney can help show fault for your accident to help you with your claim.
What can a Houston Car Crash Attorney do for a Parking Lot Crash Case?
After a parking lot accident, an attorney can help with your case in many different ways. Two important areas where a lawyer can help is gathering evidence and negotiating with the insurance adjuster for your claim. Therefore, you may want to hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to help you throughout the entire process.
When you file a claim with an insurance company or file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, you must use evidence to prove fault. However, gathering evidence can be difficult, particularly if the police decide not to come file a police report for your parking lot accident. An attorney can help you gather evidence to support your case.
For instance, many parking lots have video cameras that may catch your accident on tape. Often the store will only keep camera footage for a short period of time, sometimes just 24 hours, so you may need to act fast to get this type of evidence. Video footage can be incredibly valuable for parking lot accidents.
If the parking lot was busy during your accident, there may also be plenty of witnesses that can give a statement about your accident. Witness testimony can also act as evidence to help prove the other driver’s fault. Your attorney can help gather these statements for your case.
Now, even if there are no cameras or witnesses for your accident, there still may be other ways to gather evidence for your claim. For instance, an accident reconstruction specialist uses science to help recreate accidents, which can help with your claim. Attorneys work with these professionals pretty often to help with their cases. Therefore, having an attorney at your side can help you prove the other driver’s fault.
Negotiating with Insurance Adjusters
An attorney can also help negotiate with insurance adjusters. Experienced car accident lawyers know the types of tricks adjusters pull to try to get you to take lower settlements. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to help you receive compensation after an accident. Lawyers can play hard ball with insurance adjusters to help you get the compensation you need while you focus on other things, like getting better after your accident.
Houston Traffic Accident Law Still Applies to Parking Lot Accidents
It’s a common misconception that Houston traffic accident law doesn’t apply to parking lots because they’re often private property. This simply isn’t true. Drivers in parking lots are still responsible for using caution to help avoid accidents and injuries. Also, following some basic parking lot etiquette may help reduce your risk for accidents in parking lots.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe in parking lots:
- For Drivers:
- Put the phone and other distractions down
- Stay alert
- Follow normal traffic patterns
- Obey signs and pavement markings
- Watch for both cars and pedestrians
- For Pedestrians:
- Stay alert
- Look for drivers who may not see you
- Use crosswalks and areas designated for pedestrians whenever possible
If you do find yourself dealing with injuries from a parking lot accident, consider hiring an experienced attorney to help fight for your rights.
Get a Houston Car Crash Attorney with Experience
After a car accident, call our attorneys at DeSimone Law Office. Our experienced legal team has handled thousands of car crash cases. We are here to help represent you and defend your rights. Whether you need help negotiating with insurance adjusters or need to file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver, our team is here for you. We’ll even take care of your out of pocket expenses until we win your case. Contact us now for a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers!