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Holiday Parking Lot Crashes: How to Avoid and What to Do if You Get Hit

With the holidays upon us, the shopping craze has begun. While this can be an enjoyable time of year, it is unfortunately also one of the most dangerous, especially for car accidents. With tensions high and more people on the roads traveling and shopping, drivers and pedestrians are at an increased risk of getting injured in an accident.

Parking lots can be especially dangerous during the holiday season and incidences typically result from distraction. There are lots of people coming and going, pulling in and out of spots, and walking to and from their cars. Drivers and pedestrians should always be cautious when in a parking lot, but with the added chaos of the holiday shopping season, it’s important to be even more mindful and pay attention.

If you or a loved one are injured in a parking lot this holiday season, the experts at Crossen Law Firm can assist you. It’s not always easy to determine fault in these types of car accidents. Drivers may try to blame pedestrians for darting out in front of or behind them, while pedestrians may claim they had the right-of-way and the driver wasn’t looking where they were going. This time of year, tensions can be high, and you may find yourself in a legal battle over who was at fault. Our team understands how stressful this can be and is ready to advocate for your rights to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents

Accidents in parking lots can happen for various reasons, though generally, they are the result of distraction and negligence. However, it is not only the responsibility of drivers to pay attention. Those walking through parking lots should be mindful of where they are going as well. Parents should pay particularly close attention to their children when walking through parking lots as it’s much harder to see when a small child steps behind or in front of a car.

Some of the causes of parking lot accidents include:

  • Distracted and preoccupied drivers and pedestrians
  • Crowded stores and congested parking lots or garages
  • Drivers backing into other drivers
  • Drivers running into one another while trying to get a parking spot
  • Drivers backing or running into people walking through the parking lot
  • Pedestrians stepping or running out in front of cars in the parking lot without looking

How to Avoid a Parking Lot Accident This Holiday Season

Both drivers and pedestrians in parking lots can take extra precautions during the holidays to avoid getting hit or hitting someone else. It’s important to remember that everyone is in a rush this time of year, and we are all likely stressed and on edge. Acting aggressively or shouting at one another only makes the situation worse for everyone.

To avoid getting into a parking lot accident during the holidays:

  • Stay alert
  • Avoid distractions until you are out of the parking lot or out of your car
  • Drive slowly
  • Use turn signals to indicate your intentions
  • Anticipate the actions of other drivers and pedestrians walking through the lot
  • Double and even triple-check when pulling out of a parking spot. Don’t just check once and then quickly back out. Back out slowly and stop if you see someone coming.
  • Be extra cautious of children and strollers.
  • Do not walk in front of or behind a car without checking that they have stopped and noticed you.
  • Do not fight over parking spots
  • Park farther away from the entrance to the store
  • Obey all parking lot signs

What to Do if You Get Hit in a Parking Lot

If you get hit by someone in a parking lot, your health and safety should be your first priority. Move yourself to a safe location where you can tend to any injuries and call the authorities. Even if the accident was minor, it’s always best to call the police so an official report can be filed.

Follow the steps below if you or a loved one are hit in a parking lot this holiday season:

  1. Move yourself to safety: As mentioned above, your safety and health should be your primary concern after being hit in a parking lot. If you are severely injured, you may need to wait for medical responders to move you. But if you can move, do not stay in the middle of the parking lot while you deal with the situation, as it puts you at risk of being hit again.
  2. Call 911: Always call the police and request they send emergency medical responders if necessary to address your injuries. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, there needs to be a police report filed to help prove fault and support your case. However, do not admit fault to the police. You should always avoid saying anything incriminating before speaking to your lawyer.
  3. Seek immediate medical attention: Have your injuries taken care of by emergency medical responders or see your doctor or visit an emergency room following the accident if necessary. Avoiding medical attention puts your health at risk as serious injuries are not always immediately apparent. It’s best to get checked out as soon as possible. Your medical records and doctor statements will also help support your personal injury claim.
  4. Exchange information with the person who hit you: Exchange contact and insurance information with the person who hit you. If they attempt to flee the scene, do not go after them. Get what information you can, and leave the rest up to the police.
  5. Take photos of the accident: If possible, take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Photographic evidence is beneficial in personal injury cases, especially if there are any disputes about what happened.
  6. Collect witness statements: Similarly, witness statements can also help support your case if there are any disputes. Gather contact information from any witnesses that are willing to testify on your behalf if necessary.
  7. Contact an attorney: If you suspect that the person who hit you may try to deny fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Even if they seem willing to work with you initially, it is still wise to contact an attorney just in case. You never know what someone might try to do once they leave the accident scene.

Furthermore, even if the guilty party is compliant, their insurance company may still try to deny your claim and reduce your compensation amount by whatever means necessary. Working with an attorney ensures the guilty party is held accountable and that their insurance pays you the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Consult an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer

At Crossen Law Firm, we want everyone to experience a safe and happy holiday season. Unfortunately, this can be an especially dangerous time of year on the roads and in parking lots. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident while out shopping, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here to help.

We have over 20 years of experience fighting for the victims of car accidents and are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.