Planning on doing some shopping this holiday season? Be careful driving through the parking lot. Studies show that parking lot accidents increase significantly during the Christmas holiday shopping season. Why? There are an increased number of shoppers vying for a fixed number of parking spots in the lot. Drivers are also more anxious to hurry in and out of the store to pick up that must-have item on their list. Because of this, speeding, recklessness, and distractions abound, increasing the risk of an accident happening.
If you ever find yourself involved in a parking lot accident, how you respond from the start can greatly impact your legal options afterward. As with any accident, there are a few simple tips that can be followed to increase the likelihood of a successful car accident claim.
- Stay Calm. Don’t get out of your car and argue with the other driver. Exchange driver contact information and insurance details. Don’t say more than you need to. Call your own insurance company right away to report what happened.
- Look for eyewitnesses. Check to see if there are any individuals who saw exactly what happened and would be willing to give a statement accordingly. Many parking lot car accidents are “he-said, she-said” issues. Having an unbiased witness can help establish what actually happened.
- Record what happened. Write down everything that you remember happening before, during, and after the crash. Take pictures of everything (if you have a phone available), from injuries to vehicle damage. If you are able to, maybe even record what everyone is saying, so you have audio evidence of what was said at the scene.
- Determining fault. Leave this job to police. After notifying authorities, wait patiently. Realize that fault is usually determined by which person interrupted the natural flow of traffic. In cases of parking lot accidents where two cars back out of spots into each other, determining fault may not be so simple.
By staying calm, and refusing to get into an altercation with another driver after a parking lot car crash, you will be able to think about all of the most important steps you need to follow. Don’t let the stress of finding a parking spot ruin your holiday season this year.
At Lewis & Tompkins, we proudly represent victims of car accidents throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area and may be able to help you after your parking lot car accident. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation: 202-296-0666.