Car accidents that happen in parking lots might not seem like they can be serious. Because of how difficult it is to get much speed in a parking lot or garage, many of these accidents are minor and do not result in any injuries.
However, this does not mean that all parking lot accidents are trivial. In fact, some can even be fatal. People, especially children, dart out from between cars in parking lots all the time, and other pedestrians are frequently hit by cars backing out of parking spots. These types of accidents frequently lead to serious, life-altering injuries.
Parking Lot Accidents Can Be Serious
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts parking lot accidents into its category for nontraffic motor vehicle crashes. This includes any crash that happens off the public roads and includes those that happen in parking lots, as well as in private driveways.
Between 2008 and 2011, the NHTSA found that an estimated 6,483 people were killed in nontraffic accidents. This meant that, on average, more than 1,600 people died in these crashes every year.
This pales in comparison to the number of people who were injured in these accidents. During the same time period, the NHTSA found that an estimated 363,000 people were hurt, amounting to an average of 91,000 per year.
Causes of Parking Lot Accidents
Most parking lot accidents involve either multiple vehicles or a single vehicle and a pedestrian.
When multiple vehicles are involved in a parking lot accident, it is frequently because one or both drivers are not paying attention. The most common scenario involves one car backing out of a parking space. Many drivers pull out of parking spots recklessly, often without looking at all to see if there are other vehicles approaching. Other drivers look each way before backing out, but then stop looking as they pull out of their space, leaving them powerless to avoid a car accident with a vehicle or pedestrian that they did not see coming when they looked. Finally, when someone in a small vehicle is parked between two larger vehicles in a parking lot, they might not be able to see, at all. If they inch out of their spot, they can get involved in a parking lot accident if a pedestrian or other driver does not see them creeping into the lane.
Vehicles moving through a parking lot can also cause a crash if their driver is not paying attention or is driving recklessly. Many drivers fly through parking lots or garages at speeds approaching 25 miles per hour, even as they are distracted with looking for a space to park.
Finally, pedestrians can create parking lot accidents if they do not look out for oncoming vehicles when they walk through the driving lanes of a parking lot or garage. Unattended children are frequently to blame for parking lot accidents if they bolt out from between cars and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Even if the driver of that vehicle is paying rigorous attention and is driving at a reasonable speed, they might still not be able to prevent a parking lot accident if a pedestrian jumps in front of his or her car.
Parking Lot Accident Injuries
Even slow-moving car accidents like those that happen in parking lot crashes can result in deceptively serious injuries to people in one of the cars involved. You can get whiplash in even the smallest fender-bender if you are not ready for the jolt of the crash.
Injuries are much more likely to be serious, though, for pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in a parking lot accident. Without the protection of a vehicle to take the impact of the crash, broken bones, neck or back injuries, and serious abrasions are common. Parking lot accidents can even be fatal for people who are not in a vehicle, especially if they are children.
Philadelphia Parking Lot Accident Attorneys
Just because a car accident did not involve a lot of speed does not mean that it was a minor crash or that you should not be compensated for your injuries or losses. This is especially true if you were a pedestrian when you got hit by someone in a car. Your injuries could be serious, and no fault of your own.
This is why the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian fight to help those who were hurt in a parking lot accident. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162 for the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.