Author: Andrew Calandro
Florida Parking Lot Accidents – What You Need to Know

Whether you have been injured in a parking lot accident as a result of an unsafe property condition or due to a negligent driver, it is important to consider all of your legal options. If you have been injured in Florida, a knowledgeable injury attorney can formulate a strategy to protect your right to compensation.

It is possible to have a devastating accident in a parking lot. Property conditions are often the cause of these incidents. Owners of parking lots, for example, need to ensure that their parking lots are well-lit, free from serious potholes, have safe sidewalks, and are free of debris that can cause people to trip and fall. When they do not, people can suffer serious injuries, and often hold the property owners accountable. However, in some cases, parking lot accidents are also caused by distracted drivers who strike pedestrians while backing out of a spot or pulling into one. Whether your injury was caused by a driver’s negligence or human error, if you have been wrongfully injured in a parking lot accident, you need the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Continue reading to learn:

Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents in Florida

Who is at fault in a  Parking Lot Accident?

Who Has Right of Way

Florida Parking Accident Laws

What You Should Do After a Parking Lot Accident

Reporting a Parking Lot Accidents

 How to Avoid an Accident in a Parking Lot

Common Types of Parking Lot Accidents in Florida

The most common parking lot accident has to do with another vehicle’s door opening into another. If the responsible vehicle is still around, you can match those scratches.

Several other scenarios involving parking lot accidents are listed below:

  • Your car collides with a car pulling out of a space as you drive by
  • A shopper walking behind a car is struck by a backing car
  • A speeding driver hits a pedestrian in a parking lot
  • There’s a car that drives down the wrong lane in a parking lot

Suppose two vehicles are backing out of a parking space and collide end-to-end. What will happen? You may not realize how common this is. Parking lot end-to-end collisions (accidents caused when two cars back out into each other) occur frequently. A police officer may find it difficult to determine fault under these circumstances. According to the doctrine of negligence, drivers must both obey a duty of care to ensure that they are confidently operating their vehicles and are fully aware of where they are parked. As a result, the driver who begins backing out last is held responsible. The driver who backed out first would not be at fault.

When it is unclear which car led to the accident, the police officer on the scene will have to determine who is to blame by taking into consideration the context of events and the testimony of eyewitnesses. Though it doesn’t happen often, accidents may be considered no-fault if fault cannot be determined.

It is also common for drivers to collide with another vehicle while racing to park. In some of these accidents, the negligent driver is clearly to blame. Some others have “shared” responsibility. In such cases, it is vital to hire an experienced Florida car accident lawyer who can assess all the facts and determine who was at fault.

Who is at fault in a  Parking Lot Accident?

Florida’s rules of negligence govern parking lot car accidents. Someone who was negligent means that they could have avoided the collision with more care. According to Florida law, the person who could have prevented the accident if only they had acted differently should bear the blame.

If you want to determine fault, you need to evaluate the actions of each party in order to find out who acted negligently and caused the collision. It could be the driver or a pedestrian who is responsible.

  • When thinking about whose actions led to the accident, consider the following:

    • Were either party breaking any traffic laws, such as reckless driving or drunk driving?

    • Did either side back out while cars or people were in the way?

    • Which party is at fault for speeding?

    • Were there any pedestrians who ran into moving traffic?

    • Does anyone appear to have violated the parking lot’s traffic rules?

    • Would anyone involved have been wise to look around a bit more before proceeding through the parking lot?

    • Did anyone cause harm intentionally?

Who Has Right of Way

Florida and most other states give the right-of-way to the cars in the through lanes of parking lots (those looking for exits or spots). To be safe, people in the parking spots must yield to the cars in the through lane.

Cars that back out into a through lane will almost always be held legally responsible when they collide with vehicles in the through lane. The responsible party is considered to be at fault. It is possible, however, that there can be exceptions.

Florida Parking Accident Laws

If you haven’t been in a car accident, you should still be familiar with Florida parking lot laws, since parking lots are usually the most common location of car accidents.
When you or a loved one is involved in a parking lot accident in Florida, you may find it useful to know the laws regarding such an incident. Listed below are just a few key points to keep in mind about parking lot accident laws in Florida.

Parking lots are considered private property in Florida. Because of this, parking lot accidents do not always follow the same laws that apply to accidents on public roads. Due to this, police may not respond to a parking lot accident in which no serious damage has been done.

Additionally, the law in Florida requires property owners to maintain parking lots since they are considered private property. In this case, the property owner must maintain the pavement, provide adequate lighting, and remove debris.

Florida is a no-fault state, meaning it uses the no-fault insurance system. An insurance policy that does not pay for the injuries or damages of others involved in an accident is known as no-fault insurance.

When a person sustains injuries exceeding the limits of standard Personal Injury Protection, fault is considered. To fully compensate injured parties, determining fault becomes important.

What You Should Do After a Parking Lot Accident

Injuries sustained in parking lots often do not allow the injured person to do anything except wait to be transported to the hospital. Nevertheless, if possible, make sure that you document the details surrounding your accident so you can submit them into your personal injury claim. It is important that you take these steps if you find yourself in a parking lot accident:

  1. Call the police as soon as possible.
  2. Take pictures of the unsafe conditions that led to your accident.
  3. Obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Possibly, they will verify your claim at a later time.
  4. You should seek medical attention even if you aren’t seriously injured. Certain injuries may take a few days to manifest themselves.
  5. Make sure all medical records about your injury are available.
  6. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help determine how your accident occurred and file a personal injury claim on your behalf-and do so within four years of the date your accident occurred, as Florida’s statute of limitations pertains to personal injury claims.

Reporting Parking Lot Accidents

The law of Florida requires you to report an accident if the damages or medical costs exceed $500. The police might not respond unless there’s an injury requiring an ambulance. However, it is still necessary to exchange information with other parties involved in the accident.

It is important for the police to be involved if this is a “hit-and-run” incident. If necessary, report the incident to the shopping facility’s management. To help identify the fleeing driver, they might provide security camera footage.

 How to Avoid an Accident in a Parking Lot

There are many factors that contribute to car accidents in parking lots. Following a few safety protocols can help prevent these accidents:

  • Park in an area that is well lit.
  • Place any purchases you make in the trunk and avoid placing them anywhere that could distract you from driving safely.
  • Before you start moving, make sure you’re ready to drive – don’t start fastening your seat belt while you’re driving; do it beforehand!
  • Don’t speed in parking lots; take your time.
  • Be careful to back out slowly – remember to give way to cars going through the parking lot.

If you are involved in a car accident in a parking lot, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact Us

Calandro Law’s attorneys have the skills and knowledge to provide legal guidance to clients in Florida. The legal process can be complex and complicated, which is why we offer each of our clients compassionate and efficient legal assistance. To schedule a consultation please contact us here.

Andrew Calandro

After earning success litigating cases all over the state of Florida and consulting on cases nationwide, civil trial attorney, Andrew Calandro, decided to focus his practice on his hometown, helping the people of his own community.


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