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Parking Lots – A Magnet for Car Accidents

People are supposed to drive slowly in parking lots, but serious accidents and fatalities can and do occur regardless – often involving pedestrians, other vehicles, or shopping carts. Many times, drivers in parking lots tend to have everything but driving on their mind. This, along with the chaotic nature of parking lots, makes them a magnet for car accidents.

Colorado personal injury attorney Mack Babcock wants to assist you in receiving compensation from any damages or injuries you received in your car accident.

Who's At Fault in a Parking Lot Car Accident?

Determining who is at fault in a parking lot accident can depend on a variety of issues.  Below are several of the most common accidents that occur in parking lots and who is usually held liable depending on the situation:

  • Driver backs out and hits a vehicle driving down the parking lane. Fault in these types of accidents generally falls to the driver who was backing out of the parking space.  The car coming down the parking lane has the right of way.  An exception may be if the driver was coming down the parking lane at a high rate of speed.  Always pull out of your space slowly and look both ways before pulling all the way out of the space.

  • Driver pulls forward and hits a vehicle driving down the parking lane. Once again, these accidents are usually the fault of the driver pulling forward because they should have made certain no one was coming before pulling out.

  • Driver gets rear-ended in a parking lane.  In rear-end car accidents, fault is almost always with the driver who hits a car from behind.  It is each driver's responsibility to stay far enough behind another car so that they have ample time to put on the brakes.

  • Two cars collide while backing out of two different spaces. Generally, these kinds of accidents will be the fault of both vehicles. It is the responsibility of both drivers to make sure that no one is coming down parking lane or that another vehicle is not backing up at the same time.

  • Driver turns in front of oncoming car to get parking space. When fights for parking spaces happen, especially on weekends and during the holiday season, accidents can be an issue.  Responsibility will generally fall to the driver who pulled in front of the oncoming vehicle. Wait patiently for a space instead of getting into an altercation. It isn't worth it.

  • Driver in parking lot hits a pedestrian while pulling out, pulling forward or driving down parking lane. It is the responsibility both pedestrians and drivers to be cautious and alert in a parking lot.  The fault of this situation depends on the circumstances of the accident.

Parking Lot Driving Safety Tips

Considering that one in every five motor vehicle incidents occur in a parking lot, it is wise to consider some simple safety suggestions when you are driving or walking in a lot:

  • Drive slow and cautious.  You will eventually get a space and get to your destination.  Look multiple times if necessary to make sure there are no vehicles or pedestrians behind you or headed your way.

  • Use rear back up system and other technology.  There is so much technology now that can assist in safe driving.  Listen for those sounds that go off when your car is trying to alert you that there is a car, object or person behind you.

  • Watch for stray carts.  Avoid parking near a stray cart that can slam into your vehicle with the slightest gust of wind.

  • Avoid parking too close.  If it is a struggle getting your car to fit into a space, it is probably best to find a different parking spot.  On a windy day, your car door could slam into the vehicle beside you when you open it, causing you to be responsible for damage.

If you are involved in a parking lot accident, it's wise to obtain a police report as well as exchange insurance information.  Take as many photos as possible and secure any witness information.

If you are involved in any type of Colorado auto accident, contact experienced car accident and personal injury attorney Mack Babcock for a free consultation. To learn more, browse our comprehensive (PDF) Colorado Car Accident Guide.


While the Babcock Law Firm tirelessly works to obtain successful outcomes for its clients, prior positive outcomes are no guarantee of future success. Indicating prior positive results is in no way intended to guarantee future results.

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