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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Auto-Pedestrian Parking Lot Accidents

August 16, 2019

One of the greatest dangers for pedestrians is being struck by vehicles in parking lots. Although vehicles are generally moving more slowly than on the open road, the resulting injuries can be extremely serious. Unfortunately, pedestrians often find it difficult to obtain adequate compensation for their injuries.

A pedestrian injured by a parking lot vehicle collision will need an attorney well-versed in these types of accidents. Parking lot accidents present many legal and factual issues that are different from accidents on the open road. For injured pedestrians in Montana and Wyoming, a highly qualified Billings pedestrian accident lawyer can help seek the compensation they deserve.

Dangers of Parking Lots for Pedestrians

Some common hazards for pedestrians in parking lots include the following:

  • Congested Parking Lots: The more congestion in a parking lot, the greater the chance of an auto-pedestrian collision.
  • Poor Weather: While even rainy weather makes accidents more likely, ice and snow are especially hazardous. With the extreme winter conditions common in Montana and Wyoming, pedestrians in these states face even more risk.
  • Vehicles Backing Up: It is all too common for drivers to back out of spaces without looking behind them or being sufficiently cautious.
  • Poor Parking Lot Maintenance: Potholes and cracks in a parking lot can contribute to pedestrian collisions. Since most parking lots are private property, the fault may lie with the parking lot owner.
  • Inadequate Lighting, Pavement Markings or Signage: As with poor parking lot maintenance, the parking lot owner may be the one at fault.
  • Distracted Drivers: Drivers tend to be more distracted in parking lots. A driver may be speaking on their phone, checking texts or emails, operating their GPS, or reaching for something in the vehicle.

Challenges of Seeking Compensation for Pedestrian Parking Lot Injuries

Pedestrians injured in parking lots will often face unique legal challenges not usually present in open road accidents. A Billings pedestrian accident law firm can help Montana and Wyoming pedestrians overcome these challenges.

Assigning Fault

Assigning fault in auto-pedestrian parking collisions can be especially difficult. Often pedestrians do not pay complete attention to their surroundings, and insurance companies can use the pedestrian’s lack of caution as a defense.  

If any of the parking lot conditions were a cause, the parking lot owner will likely attempt to shift blame to the driver, the pedestrian, or both.  And if poor weather was a factor, any party sued will use this in an attempt to avoid liability.

Absence of Police Reports or Citations

Traffic laws are generally not enforceable in private parking lots.  Accordingly, there is less likelihood of any police citations in a parking lot accident, as there would be in an open road accident.

In addition, there are often no police reports for parking lot accidents. The police often do not respond to accidents on private property unless there is a serious injury. The lack of an official report by a law enforcement agency is another challenge for pedestrians seeking legal damages.

Speak With a Billings Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at Ragain & Clark, PC

If you are pedestrian injured in a parking lot collision in Montana or Wyoming, contact a Billings pedestrian accident lawyer at Ragain & Clark, PC immediately. We have over four decades of trial experience and a track record of success in all types of personal injuries, including auto and pedestrian accidents. Contact us today.


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