Are you covered if hit in a parking lot?
Almost all parking lots are situated on private property. Because they’re on private property, state statutes and municipal ordinances usually don’t apply when there’s an accident. Police don’t usually come to the scene of parking lot accidents either. Drivers ordinarily have to go to the police station to make a report.
So how is liability determined in parking lot accidents?
Since state and municipal traffic laws usually don’t apply to parking lots, liability for accidents is decided by the law of negligence and other factors that apply only to parking lots. For example, if you back out of a parking spot into another vehicle that’s properly parked behind you, you’re likely to be found at fault. There are other factors in parking lot accidents that can figure into the fault equation too. There might be stop signs, one-way aisles with angled parking, primary traffic lanes and secondary traffic lanes for drivers who are expected to yield the right-of-way to vehicles traveling in the primary lanes.
Parking lots obviously have pedestrian traffic. Drivers who strike pedestrians in parking lots are likely to be held liable for pedestrian injuries too.
Insurance coverage in a parking lot accident
If you have applicable coverage, your vehicle is insured just about anywhere in the United States for just about any type of risk other than those are specifically excluded in your policy. In a parking lot accident, you’re primarily concerned with comprehensive coverage for vandalism like getting your car keyed, collision coverage that pays regardless of liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
The hit-and-run and property damage in parking lots
If your car was hit when you weren’t in it or around it, and no note was left, your insurance company is going to treat your claim as a hit-and-run. You’ll want to report the damage to your insurer immediately. In most states the damage will be repaired under your uninsured motorist coverage. In a minority of states, collision coverage will apply.
The hit-and-run and personal injury in parking lots
If you or any of your passengers are entering your vehicle, occupying it or exiting it, and are injured in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, it’s likely that your uninsured motorist coverage will cover any damages for personal injury up to your policy limits.
Whether you’re at fault or not in a parking lot accident, make sure that you get a police report right away. After that, immediately report the property damage and/or personal injury to your insurer. Contact us to file a claim.