Our California Parking Lot Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Parking lots may appear safe but the reality is quite different. Although cars are driven at low speeds, they still pose significant risks to the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Parking lots in California, especially on holidays or at busy spots like grocery stores, shopping malls, amusement parks, etc., can be fatal. Many parking lot accidents were reported in California in the year 2023.

People have been injured or even lost their loved ones due to negligent car drivers. In the absence of strict monitoring, people break most of the driving rules in parking lots. Due to limited space and multiple vehicles car drivers are likely to make driving errors. They often get confused about who has the right to way and BAM! the accident happens.

Parking Lots Are Not That Safe

Pedestrians, motorists, and other riders may think parking lots are safe. Although vehicles move at a slower speed, parking zones have certain limitations. Many drivers may not be fully attentive while looking for parking spaces or navigating through the parking lot, posing a risk to pedestrians and other parking occupants. With the increasing use of smartphones, drivers may engage in distractions like texting or talking on the phone while driving through parking lots. This diverts their attention from the surroundings and increases the chances of accidents.

Parking lots are crowded spaces with numerous vehicles moving in different directions. Due to so much confusion, drivers may not be able to rightfully judge the direction of other vehicles. This may result in fender benders, side-swiping, or backing into pedestrians. Other factors like inadequate lighting, insufficient signage, and faded pavement markings can confuse drivers and pedestrians, leading to misunderstandings and potential accidents. 

Parking Lot Accident Lawyers
Parking Lot Accident Lawyers

Who has the Right of Way in Parking Lots in California?

The default rule of right-of-way in California parking lots favors vehicles already in the flow of traffic. This means the driver with the greater ongoing movement has the right of way.

    • Main lanes: Cars traveling in the main lanes have the right of way over those entering from parking spaces or feeder lanes.
    • Feeder lanes: Traffic in feeder lanes (lanes allowing access between parked cars and the main lane) has the right of way over vehicles backing out of parking spots.

In California parking lots, the right of way is typically governed by a combination of state traffic laws and common sense practices. Here are the general guidelines:

    • Pedestrians: Pedestrians generally have the right of way in parking lots. Drivers should always yield to pedestrians, especially in designated crosswalks and near entrances and exits.
    • Main Aisles vs. Secondary Aisles: Vehicles in the main aisles (those that typically run perpendicular to the rows of parking spaces and often lead to exits) usually have the right of way over vehicles in secondary aisles (those that run parallel to the rows of parking spaces).
    • Entering and Exiting Parking Spaces: Vehicles that are already moving in the lanes have the right of way over those exiting a parking space. Drivers should ensure the lane is clear before backing out.
    • Stop Signs and Yield Signs: Any stop signs, yield signs, or other posted traffic control devices in the parking lot must be obeyed. Vehicles facing these signs must yield the right of way to other vehicles and pedestrians as indicated.
    • Common Courtesy: When there are no specific signs or rules, drivers should exercise common courtesy and caution. This includes making eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians, using turn signals, and driving at a safe speed.

Who is at Fault in Parking Lot Accidents in California?

Determining fault in a parking lot accident can be more complicated than in other traffic situations. Generally, the fault is determined based on factors such as the actions and negligence of the drivers involved, traffic laws, and the specific circumstances of the accident.

Here are some scenarios that can help understand the liability in parking lot accidents:

    • Rear-End Parking Lot Collisions: If one vehicle rear-ends another vehicle in a parking lot, the driver who rear-ended the other vehicle is typically considered at fault. This assumes that the driver had a duty to maintain a safe distance and failed to do so, causing the collision.
    • Backing-Up Accidents: When two vehicles collide while backing up, fault may be assigned to the driver who was backing up at the time of the accident. It is essential for the driver who is backing up to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
    • Failure to Yield: If a driver fails to yield the right of way to another vehicle or pedestrian who has the right of way, they may be found at fault for the accident.
    • Negligent or Careless Driving: If a driver is deemed to have driven negligently or recklessly, such as by speeding, distracted driving, or disregarding traffic signs and signals, they may be held responsible for any accidents they cause in the parking lot.

It’s important to note that liability in parking lot accidents can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific details of the incident. In some cases, both drivers may share some degree of fault. To determine fault accurately, it is recommended to consult with insurance companies, legal professionals, or law enforcement authorities who can provide guidance based on local laws and regulations.

Pacific Attorney Group – Your Trusted Legal Partner to Get Justice in Parking Lot Accidents in California

Though in parking lots people are careful while parking their cars or moving out, accidents still happen. Don’t let a parking accident make you feel helpless. Pacific Attorney Group and its legal team have years of experience handling all car accident claims. Identifying who is at fault or if it’s a shared fault case will need a seasoned lawyer’s assistance. Worry not, schedule your free consultation with our California parking lot accident lawyer and get informed about possible legal options. At first, we will attempt to settle it out on your behalf and if it doesn’t yield the expected results, then we will consider a trial.  You need not stress out about the legal hassles, we are expert litigators so we know all about the ins and outs of pursuing a trial.

Don’t wait further, call us immediately.