Fairfax Parking Lot Accident Lawyer

Although there are many different places where accidents can occur, one of the most common and consistent locations is a parking lot. Parking lot accidents occur with a regular frequency due to limited visibility, distractions that drivers may face, and occasionally the interior design of the parking lot area.

If you have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot in Fairfax, you should retain the help of an experienced Fairfax parking lot accident lawyer who will be able to help you get compensation for any damages you suffered.

Parking Lot Accident Laws

If an accident occurs in a parking lot, some different laws may apply, especially regarding private versus public property. In most circumstances, this would normally not apply in the context of a personal injury case.

Things to be especially aware of in a parking lot case include the rules of a parking lot, such as traffic signs, cross walks, stop lights, and other regulations. These are important to note because if a person fails to obey a parking lot’s safety rules, that may lead to a contributory negligence defense. However, typically the law is no different in parking lots than it is on the roads.

Common Accidents

The most common types of accidents that occur in parking lots accidents in Fairfax involve failure to yield, when the party fails to see a stop sign or stop light, or accidents involving failure of a party to do other legally mandated behaviors on the road, such as looking out for distracted driving.

Failure to keep a lookout, failure to be aware of an individual’s surroundings, and distracted driving, such as looking at cell phones, looking for parking spots, talking to kids in the car, are all contributing factors making parking lot accidents common.

There is a duty of care that extends especially to drivers in parking lots, which includes penalties for failure to keep a reasonable lookout or failure to abide by parking lot rules.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often vigorously defend parking lot accidents because they are generally perceived as low-speed impact. The insurance companies’ current trend is to vigorously defend minor impact soft tissue injuries.

When someone suffers a minor impact soft tissue injury in a parking lot accident, they can take comfort in knowing that the insurance companies are going to defend the claim vigorously, since they try not to pay out large claims when there is a small amount of property damage. This makes contact with a parking lot accident attorney in Fairfax imperative.

Contributory Negligence

If a pedestrian fails to follow the rules while walking in a parking lot and they are struck by a vehicle, that person’s case may be defended on the grounds of contributory negligence.

Pedestrians in parking lots have a duty to keep themselves safe. Walking through parking spaces, walking in front of cars, and other behaviors of that nature may be applied to a contributory negligence defense. However, if the pedestrian is simply walking in the aisles of the parking lot while reasonably paying attention and then gets hit by a car, this would not necessarily lead to a contributory negligence defense.

Impact on a Claim

Just like in all other accident cases, if an individual is found to have been contributorily negligent in the causation element of the accident, they will be barred from making a recovery. Virginia is a contributory negligence state and not a comparative negligence state.

In a comparative negligence state, the percentage the individual is at fault is deducted to the ability they had to recover. For example, if the individual is 10% at fault, they can only make 90% recovery. In Virginia, however, if an individual is even one percent at fault, then they are barred from making a recovery.

Contributory negligence is a prime tool for defense attorneys and insurance companies to use in mitigating and defending claims, making it important those injured consult with a Fairfax parking lot accident attorney.

Working with an Accident Attorney

If an individual has been injured in a parking lot accident in Fairfax due to no fault of their own, they should talk to an experienced Fairfax parking lot accident attorney who handles cases involving both pedestrians and drivers in parking lots on a regular basis. An experienced personal injury attorney would understand the pitfalls in such a case, what to expect, how to advise the individual, and could discuss whether or not representation is in their best interest.