More often than not, parking lot incidents involve low-speed accidents. People might pull out of spots without looking or engage in reckless driving to secure parking spots in crowded areas. Reckless driving can also escalate to high-speed and more dangerous driving habits in a parking lot, leading to substantial damages and injuries. Hiring an accident attorney increases the odds of getting the compensation your case deserves.
What Kind of Attorneys Handle Parking Lot Accidents?
There are different types of accident attorneys, but most will likely have experience handling parking lot accidents. If you’re unsure whether an attorney can help with your case, check their website for information or schedule a consultation.
The insurance company might try to lowball you by offering a settlement that doesn’t cover all of your damages. An experienced attorney has the knowledge and experience to tell you if the offer is fair and if it’s in your best interest to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
When meeting with an accident attorney in Melville for a consultation, bring the evidence you have. Evidence can include pictures of the damage done to your vehicle, a police report and eyewitness accounts. Your attorney will likely uncover more evidence as the case unfolds.
You should also come prepared to discuss your injuries, how the accident has affected your life and what kind of compensation you seek. This information helps the attorney determine the strength and monetary value of the case.
What Are Some Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents?
Parking lots are one of the most dangerous places in America. While most people think of minor car crashes, a wide range of incidents can occur here. Consider the following examples.
Some vehicles have poor visibility when backing out of spaces. This is commonly the case with motorhomes, box trucks, commercial vans and vehicles with large rear pillars. Sometimes cargo or passengers could cause reduced visibility. Reduced visibility increases the risk of accidents in the parking lot.
Drivers often believe they face far fewer risks in a parking lot. Consequently, this might seem like a good time to check their phones or respond to text messages while also scouting for parking spots. Distracted driving at any speed and in any scenario could lead to accidents and even deaths.
Lack of Parental Supervision
One study found that 88.9% of children are not within arm’s reach when navigating parking lots. Children often do not have the same awareness of danger as adults, thus taking risks that endanger them. This can lead to cases as complex and challenging as they are heartbreaking.
You have likely seen that person in the parking lot doing donuts or engaging in other reckless behaviors. Vehicles are often unpredictable during these maneuvers and can cause the driver to lose control. The car can then collide with people, other vehicles, light poles, walls or buildings.
What Are the Odds of Winning My Case?
The odds of winning your case depend on the facts. If the other driver was speeding or driving recklessly, you might have a better chance of winning your case. If there were witnesses to the accident, their testimony could also help your case. An experienced attorney can review the evidence and give you a better idea of your chances of winning. Here are a few additional factors that increase your odds:
- Evidence of negligence, such as reckless driving or failing to keep a dog on a leash
- Strong correlation between negligence and the incident, such as a car driven by a reckless driver spinning out of control and colliding with a parked vehicle
- Securing strong proof, such as dashcam footage, CCTV footage and police reports
- Severe injuries, such as broken bones or deep lacerations
How Can Comparative Negligence Affect My Case?
New York and several other U.S. states acknowledge comparative negligence while still providing compensation. Consequently, if you are partially at fault for the accident, you could still recover damages from the other driver. The amount of payment you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Here’s an example of how comparative negligence might occur:
While paying for your groceries, you receive a message from your boss asking you to come in on short notice. On your way out of the store, you type up your response explaining that you’re unavailable.
Meanwhile, a young driver enters the parking lot. He is speeding, playing loud music and checking the parking spaces for the rest of his friends. Neither of you notice each other as you cross the parking lot and he hits you at 25 mph in a 5 mph zone.
The court will likely hold him accountable for speeding and failing to pay attention. However, it might also decide the accident could have been avoided had you not been so absorbed by the phone. Consequently, it awards you 20% of the blame. The jury awards you $100,000 for your injuries, so you receive $80,000.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney?
Most accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. If you win, the attorney takes a percentage of your settlement or jury award as payment.
The exact percentage depends on the lawyer and the specifics of your case. Attorneys often adjust contingency rates based on the case details, but Forbes reports an average of 33% and a range of 25% to 40%.
If you don’t win, you won’t have to pay the attorney anything. This makes hiring an attorney a risk-free way to get the compensation you deserve.
Are You Ready To Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Accident Attorney?
Because personal injury attorneys don’t charge fees upfront, you have nothing to lose by interviewing two or so before making a decision. Scheduling a consultation puts you in a much better position to know your rights and set realistic expectations for the outcomes.
Our team at Cellino Law has secured more than $2 billion in compensation for our clients and would love to review your case. Contact us to get started.