How Fault is Determined in an Ontario Parking Lot Accident

handling a parking lot accidentAccidents in parking lots happen a lot more than people realize. While most of these accidents are minor and involve low speed impact, some can still result in serious damages. Determining fault in a parking lot accident can also be difficult. It may not always be evident which driver has the right-of-way.

If you have been involved in a parking lot accident, the reputable Windsor car accident lawyers from our firm are prepared to assist. We know what it takes to identify the party or parties responsible and pursue full compensation for our clients. See how we may be able to help in a free consultation.

Handling a Parking Lot Accident

A parking lot accident should be handled in the same manner as any other accident. To protect your well-being and your potential claim for compensation, it is important to do the following:

  • If you can, move your car out of the way of traffic
  • Check yourself for injuries and if anyone else involved is safe and unharmed
  • If damages exceed $2,000, contact the police so that an official report is filed
  • Exchange contact details and insurance information with all parties involved
  • Take pictures of any visible injuries and damages to cars or other objects

It is also in your best interest to reach out to an experienced lawyer before speaking with the insurance company. An insurance adjuster’s role for the company is to pay out as little as possible in claims. He or she will attempt to devalue or deny you the compensation you may be eligible for. A lawyer will do everything possible to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf, if you have a valid claim.

Why Accidents in Parking Lots Often Happen

Parking lot accidents can happen for various reasons. This could include:

  • Two cars back up into each other – When two cars get into an accident while pulling out or reversing from a parking space, both drivers will typically share fault. 
  • A driver backs into an oncoming car – A driver backing out of a parking space hits another car that is moving in the lane of traffic. The driver exiting the parking space is generally at fault for an accident because he or she should yield the right-of-way to oncoming cars.
  • A driver hits another parked car – In most cases, the driver who backed out of a parking space  and hits another car that is stationary and legally parked would be solely at fault.
  • Two cars competing for a parking space collide – Both drivers may not evenly share fault. Different factors may need to be considered, such as who had the right-of-way, the damage done to the cars, the direction each driver was turning and how far each car was into the space.
  • A driver hits a pedestrian – A driver may be found at fault if he or she was speeding or otherwise not paying attention and strikes a pedestrian in a parking lot. However, a pedestrian may share fault if he or she did not use a walkway or crossed in between parking spaces.
  • A driver rear ends a car at a stop sign – If a driver rear ends another car at a stop sign or another area in a parking lot, he or she would likely be at fault.

Determining Fault in a Parking Lot Accident

In a parking lot accident, fault is determined on a case-by-case basis. It can be difficult because a variety of factors may be involved. In certain situations, one driver may be solely at fault or share fault.

Fault really comes down to which driver was negligent or careless. For instance, drivers moving in the lane of traffic have the right-of-way versus drivers exiting a parking space. If a driver failed to yield or disobeyed a stop sign and it resulted in an accident, he or she would be found at fault.

Insurance companies will look at all evidence in relation to the accident to determine fault. This evidence could include surveillance footage, statements from everyone involved (including witnesses), photos from the scene as well as the location of damage to cars to assess how the accident happened.

A lawyer representing you will also conduct an independent investigation into what occurred and gather the evidenced needed to help support your claim for compensation. 

Rules for Parking Lot Accidents in Ontario

Although accidents in parking lots or anywhere on private property are not subject to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, it does not give anyone the right to damage another car or property.

There are still general rules that should be followed at all times, such as:

  • Obeying all traffic signs in the parking lot
  • Yielding to traffic if exiting a parking space
  • Giving the right-of-way to drivers entering the parking lot
  • Checking for blind spots before backing up
  • Being cautious when opening a car door

Get the Legal Help You Need

Have you suffered damages in a parking lot accident? If so, our legal team at Greg Monforton & Partners are ready to explain your legal options in a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims and their families.

We charge nothing up front if we take on your case and no fees while we work on your case.

Get started today by calling (866) 320-4770.