Parking lot accidents are very common, it’s easier to avoid them in the first place. However, not all accidents are minor, and it has a great impact on car insurance too.
Besides, heating a parked car and not leaving the place without contacting the owner is almost like a hit-and-run case. So, there is no way you can take things lightly.
Here is everything you need to know about parking lot accidents in Alberta.
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What Should You Do If You Hit a Car in a Parking Lot?
Like any other accident, when you are facing a parking lot accident, the first thing is to check if anyone gets injured or not. Call the emergency number in the event of a severe injury.
If there is no injury, and the accident is also not that serious, talk with the other driver—exchange information like car registration, driving license, insurance, etc. After getting the basic information, contact your insurance company to file a claim.
Note that, no matter if the accident occurs for your fault or not, you should always contact your insurance company to notify them about the injury.
You’ll also need to visit a licensed auto shop to figure out the damage. If the damage is more than $2000, you must file a police report.
Ways to Determining the Fault
Determining the fault in parking lot accidents is quite challenging as it involves several factors. It can be easily misinterpreted, just like any other auto accident.
In some cases, one driver might be at-fault, while both drivers share the fault equally in some cases.
If a moving car collides with a legally parked vehicle, the driver of the moving car is liable for an at-fault accident.
While you are about to exit a parking spot, you have to yield to a car driving down the lane. If you don’t do that and an accident happens because of that, it will be judged as an at-fault offence from your side.
50-50 Fault for Each Driver
Contrary to popular belief, not all parking lot accidents are considered 50-50 fault. Based on the surroundings and the type of the accident, the fault is determined.
Check Also: Top Causes of Car Accidents in Alberta
Third-Party Liability in Parking Lot Accident
The behavior of the persons involved is commonly used to determine fault. However, the harm may have been caused by other parties (i.e., the parking lot owner).
For example, there can be risky situations that the parking lot owner is aware of. The owner would be partially responsible if they neglected to maintain the property or fail to put enough evident signs or marks.
Parking Lot Accidents: Some Common Examples
There are some common types of accidents that are seen in parking lots. They are –
A Vehicle Hitting a Legally Parked Car
It is the most common type of parking lot accident. As mentioned earlier, in this scenario, the driver of the moving car is totally at fault.
A Moving Car Hits a Pedestrian Or Cyclist
Pedestrians or cyclists can pop up out of nowhere and get hit by your car. You may not be found guilty if it’s totally impossible to see them beforehand. However, you need to prove the overall situation properly.
Two Moving Cars Collide with Each Other While Trying to Back Up
In this instance, it’s clear that both drivers are responsible for the accident. So, there is a high chance that the fault will be distributed 50-50.
An Auto Vehicle Collides With a Stationary Object
If your car collides with a shopping cart, traffic sign, median, curb, light post, etc., it will be determined as 100% at-fault.
A Car Pulls Forward into the Traffic Lane
There is a traffic lane in most parking lots with the right of way. When a driver pulls forward out of space and collides with other cars, the fault might be split into 70-30 as per the situation.
Rear-End Collision At a Stop Sign
Whether you are on a road or parking lot, you are liable for all the damage if you bump a car from behind.
Know More: Single Vehicle Accidents
Tips to Avoid Accidents in a Parking Lot
Although accidents are inevitable, the chances can be minimized by following some tips.
Let’s see the basic rules everyone should maintain while parking their car.
- Follow all the traffic signs correctly and pay attention to your surroundings all the time.
- Enter the parking lot using the right of way and give the space to the drivers before exiting.
- Don’t always follow the backup camera when backing out of space. Check your mirrors and trust your own eyes.
- Always recheck your blind spots when you move in or out of a spot.
- Yield to the oncoming car down the lane.
- Keep the car speed low.
- Be extra careful when opening doors, and give enough room to the car beside you.
- Try to park your car in a less congested area.
Will Insurance Cover a Parking Lot Accident?
Yes, car insurance usually covers the parking lot accident if that’s included in your policy. Whether you face a collision or not, it’s better to review your policy regularly to avoid future hassles.
And contact your insurance company in case you are involved in a parking lot accident. If you are at fault but don’t have collision coverage in your policy, you have to pay the damage from your pocket.
Impact of a Parking Lot Accident on Your Driving Record
An accident in a parking lot is treated as a typical traffic accident. If it involves a police report, it will be recorded on your driving record. And as a consequence, your car insurance premium will increase more than before.
This is one of the main reasons most drivers decide not to report this type of accident.
Now you know what happens if you get into a parking lot accident in Alberta? Although these accidents are comparatively less severe than other traffic accidents, they might affect your driving record.
So, be extra careful while trying to park your car. And if you fall into any difficult situation that is hard to deal with, contact an experienced person to get legal support.