Accidents in parking lots happen all of the time. You’re backing out, and you don’t see another vehicle driving by until you pull out in front of them and hit their front end. Or perhaps you’re driving towards the parking lot exit, and another vehicle fails to stop and hits the side of your car.
With these and other scenarios, you may wonder who is responsible for the accident and who will pay for it. While parking lots are private property, they are similar to highways when it comes to determining fault. The person who is at fault for the accident is the one who will have to pay for the accident unless it is a no-fault state.
In a no-fault state, each driver pays for their own car repairs regardless of who caused the accident. There are very few states with this law, but in those states, you wouldn’t file a claim with another insurance company for the accident. You would only go through your own insurance provider unless it was a major collision.
It can be difficult to determine fault in a parking lot collision. However, certain rules apply. For instance, a driver who is backing out of a parking space must yield to those who are driving by. If they pull out and hit someone, they are usually at fault.
Some other scenarios include the following:
If you are involved in an accident in a parking lot, you should follow the same guidelines as if it occurred on a city street or highway. Call the police and file a report, then contact your insurance company. You should also try to take photos of the accident and get names of any witnesses. Treat the situation similar to an accident on a busy city street because many of the same laws will apply, even though the parking lot is private property.