Most accidents in parking lots tend to be minor because they do not happen at highway speeds. However, many people (especially pedestrians) have been seriously injured and even killed in parking lot collisions.
Some people mistakenly believe that there are no legal consequences for collisions in a parking lot because it is private property. While Highway Traffic Act charges are not generally laid in parking lot collisions, being at fault for a collision in a parking lot has consequences. If you are determined to be at fault your insurance rates will increase. If someone is seriously injured because of your negligence, you may be exposed to a lawsuit for compensation. Fortunately, your insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim, so long as your insurance limits are adequate.
There are a number of rules to follow to avoid being found at fault in a parking lot collision. Here are a few to keep in mind:
• Obey all traffic signs. If an accident happens because you disobeyed a sign, you will be found to be at fault.
• Be careful backing out of a parking spot. If you are backing up and hit a pedestrian or another vehicle, fault will rest with you.
• Watch out when opening your door. If you open your door and hit another car, then you are at fault for the damage, even if that vehicle is pulling into the spot beside you.