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Parking lot accidents typically don’t cause serious injuries, but they happen frequently and can result in substantial property damage to vehicles. Busy lots can be confusing, with cars headed in various directions, and many drivers are not clear on who has right of way in a parking lot.
Accidents can create even more confusion, since parking lots are private property. If you’re involved in a parking lot accident, you may be unsure who has liability.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may be thinking, “Someone hit my car in a parking lot! Who pays for the damage?”
When accidents occur, parking lot accident liability often can be determined by one of two factors. First, was only one car moving? In almost all cases, the driver of the moving car will be at fault. For instance, if your car is parked legally and it’s hit by another car, that driver probably is at fault.
Second, if both cars were moving, which car had right of way? The right of way in a parking lot can be determined by lanes indicated on pavement, signage, traffic patterns and other factors. If a driver is traveling too fast for the conditions or does not yield, that driver may have liability.
What are some common accident scenarios that happen in parking lots, and who has liability?
Committing a hit and run can have serious consequences for the perpetrator. In Maryland, a driver who’s involved in an accident resulting in property damage, injury or death must take the following actions:
An individual who leaves the scene of an accident in Maryland resulting in property damage can be subject to a penalty of as much as $500, as long as 60 days in jail, or both. However, leaving the scene of an accident in which someone has been seriously injured or killed is a felony and can result in much harsher penalties. If a victim was injured, the penalty for leaving the scene can be up to five years in prison or a fine of as much as $5,000, or both. In the case of a victim’s death, the penalty for leaving the scene can be imprisonment up to 10 years or a fine of as much as $10,000, or both.
To avoid an accident in a parking lot, drive defensively and assume that other drivers will make unexpected moves.
Even if you’re careful and follow all parking lot driving rules, accidents may happen. If you’ve been involved in a parking lot accident in the Baltimore or Silver Spring areas, work with car accident attorneys who can ensure that your rights are protected. For a free consultation, please contact DuBoff & Associates, Chartered.Filed Under: