Shopping is always a chore, but finding an empty parking spot at your local shopping plaza can be a challenge. Finally you notice an empty space and decide to pull into it. That’s when you feel the thud against your car. Seems like another driver wanted that same spot and bumped into you. You get out and check out the “damage,” but can’t see any glaring “scars” with the naked eye.
Regardless, an accident is an accident. Your planned day of shopping just got a lot more frustrating. Accidents can happen anywhere, even in the parking lot of your neighborhood grocery store or mall, but there are certain aspects of a parking lot accident that are important to know.
Even what may seem like a simple accident can impact your insurance payments and have serious long-term consequences. In some cases, you may even need a parking lot accident attorney if you’re later deemed liable for damages or injuries, even in a minor accident.
Where’s the Damage?
Accidents, regardless of their severity, are treated the same way. By law, if no clear damages can be determined, often times both parties have the option of refusing to file an accident report. If it’s mutual, then no accident report needs to be filed. By law, there has to be some amount of damage for a collision to be considered an accident.
In the simplest terms, if two vehicles try to occupy the same space at the same time, it’s a crash, which makes perfect sense since it’s physically impossible for both cars to be in the same place at the same time. However, for it to be legally viewed as an accident, there has to be some level of monetary damage. Taking a report can raise your insurance premiums and will stay on the car’s history, so if the damage is not severe and both parties are able to settle it amicably, then it’s best not to get law enforcement involved.
At-Fault or No-Fault?
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of who’s at fault in a car accident, insurance providers will cover the cost of damages. That’s true in most cases. However, there are instances where if it’s determined that someone actually was negligent, they may be at fault, resulting in a finding of liability for the accident. This aspect of the law means that it’s critical to have someone document the incident.
These are just a few of the ways you can document a parking lot car accident:
- Eyewitnesses: Always check if third-parties observed the accident as it happened. People always have the right to say no and stay out of an accident situation, but it never hurts to ask them if they’re willing to make a statement. Addresses and phone numbers are always good to have.
- Be Specific: Statements and reports need to be credible to be taken seriously. Always record the time and date. Always document the make and model of the vehicle, and try to write down a description of the driver if possible. The more specific and precise your account, the harder it is for counter-claims to hold water.
- Pictures Speak Volumes: Videos and photographs always add an unbeatable level of credibility to your case. Multiple pictures from multiple angles provides a greater context of damage, the vehicles involved, or times of day.
Aside from solid documentation, being able to have an experienced car accident attorney represent your case will go far in enhancing your odds of success.
Protect Yourself from Parking Lot Accident Liability
Accidents happen but they don’t have to cost you more than they need to; get the personal injury representation you deserve with Salpeter Gitkin, LLP. We are experienced and dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers with decades of combined experience. From parking lot accidents to major accidents, we handle it all.
Let us fight on your behalf and help you focus on what really matters. For a personalized free case review and evaluation, call us 24/7 at (954) 467-8622 or complete our online contact form.