Many people presume that parking lots are inherently safer than the open road, and that a broader respect for slow speeds prevents accidents from occurring in the confines of a parking lot. However, in any area that is used by moving vehicles, there is a risk of being involved in an accident with one.
Parking lots are generally filled with pedestrians, and when the vehicle involved in an accident happens to be a truck, potential injuries can be significantly more severe. If you have been involved in a parking lot accident with a truck, our team of Clearwater truck accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process as you focus on recovering.
Safe Driving Rules
Every time a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle they should practice safe driving, and in a parking lot, that means moving even more slowly in case there are pedestrians around, or in case of a vehicle backing up out of a parking spot.
Due to their size, truck drivers are not always able to see their surroundings, which places pedestrians and smaller vehicles that are outside of the truck driver’s sight at a higher risk of injury.
Nuances of Parking Lot Accidents
Unlike accidents that happen on public roadways in Clearwater, law enforcement officers may not always arrive immediately, or come at all, in the event of a parking lot accident because parking lots are private property and law enforcement does not have jurisdiction. This means that many times in the beginning of a parking lot accident involving a truck, there is no official citation of fault designating the responsible party.
This is one of the reasons it is so important in any truck accident case to take pictures and retain any available documentation. If possible, it is also helpful to have the at-fault party write a statement or share their insurance information while admitting fault in the accident before anyone leaves the scene.
Treatment by Insurance Companies
Insurance companies usually have a little bit more difficulty proving who is at fault than in roadway type accidents. Usually, car accidents in parking lots are he-said, she-said types of negotiations. The insurance company will always start the argument with their insured’s side, whether or not it holds water based on how the accident actually happened.
Simply walking around a parking lot does not alone constitute contributory negligence. If the pedestrian is jumping in and out of cars, or walking while paying attention to a text message rather than their surroundings, that may be considered contributory negligence. If a driver is speeding around a parking lot, or if they are parked in the middle of the parking lot but not in a designated space, that could be considered contributory negligence.
Even if the truck caused the accident and subsequent injuries, the truck driver’s insurance company will work to prove that the injured party was somehow responsible for a portion of their injuries.
Benefits of a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by a truck in a Clearwater parking lot, you should look for a personal injury lawyer that has experience dealing with insurance companies at every stage, all the way through trial. A seasoned trial lawyer will be able to effectively argue to prove liability first, before moving on to prove injuries and warranted damages.