The Miami car accident lawyer at the Perazzo Law Firm, Jonathan Perazzo, shares insight into car accidents that involve parking and the common accidents that occur while looking for or pulling out of a parking spot.
Every motorist must eventually detain their vehicle and get out. This action is called parking. Every driver knows this. But what many drivers don’t realize is how many accidents occur during the whole parking procedure, and how common parking accidents are in cities like Miami, Orlando, and Kissimmee. Parking your car or truck, be it at a Publix parking lot; between two other cars on a city street, or in the driveway of your home, requires attentiveness that go beyond basic driving skills. Just like turning left at an intersection requires the use of your turn signal, so should parking your car to avoid and accident require the use of proper signaling, as well as ample reaction time. Many drivers in Miami, for example, spend seemingly precious moments of their time looking for a parking space on congested city avenues or streets. When they spot a parking spot, they may maneuver their vehicle very abruptly by either making a sudden stop or lane change. Sudden stops and abrupt lane changes are a main cause of car accidents in Miami and other major cities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Orange County.
When do most Parking accidents occur?
Though you may not think that parking your car can result in an accident, but in fact, parking and accidents go hand-in-hand. When drivers pull out of parking spots, they may go undetected to approaching vehicles. This can be the direct result of negligent cell-phone use by drivers, that are distracted by the their smartphones and not spot a vehicle suddenly pull out in front of them. Many times, their reaction time does not allow them to hit the brakes fast enough to prevent a crash, usually a side impact or T-bone collision which can lead to cervical or hip injuries to drivers or passengers. The Miami car accident lawyers at the Perazzo Law Firm handle many car accident cases due to careless driving and we know what causes parking accidents.
The main causes of parking accidents:
- Sudden stops
- Sudden lane changes
- Unexpected opening of car doors
- Cellphone use while driving
- Failure to use side view mirrors to check for oncoming traffic or bike riders
- Pulling into traffic without yielding
- Pulling into a driveway without checking for oncoming traffic
- Pulling into a driveway or parking spot without proper signaling
- Passing a vehicle that is waiting to park and crashing into another vehicle
- Crashing into another parked vehicle
PREVENTING PARKING ACCIDENTS
Accidents while parking in Miami, just like in any other city, occur on a regular basis. This is because backing up or driving a vehicle in reverse is not something that all motorists can do easily or feel comfortable doing. This is because many motorists can become disoriented when backing up and this can sometimes lead to miscalculating the space between the vehicle behind them. Other times, a pedestrian may inadvertently walk behind a vehicle moving in reverse, and this can lead to a pedestrian accident which in many cases, will hold the driver at fault. In order to prevent and help avoid accidents while parking, the personal injury staff of car accident attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm have put together a simple check list for drivers to keep in mind the next time they are pulling into, backing into, or pulling out of a parking space.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACCIDENT-FREE PARKING
Using the vehicle’s hazard lights: Apply your hazard lights to alert other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians that you are planning a parking maneuver
Avoid distractions when parking: Negligent cellphone use while parking is a common distraction.
Avoid parking in haste: Many motorists spend considerable time looking for a parking space, and when they spot one, they race to get before another driver does. When this happens, the driver in a hurry to park can cause an accident and may eventually be held liable for any personal injuries or damages to the accident victim.
Never back-up at quickly: It’s vital that drivers avoid moving the vehicle in reverse too quickly, in fact, the slower a driver moves his/her vehicle backwards, the better. From the Perazzo Law Firm’s experience handling parking and parking lot accidents in Miami, many accidents while parking are caused by backing up too quickly. Many times, pedestrians or cyclists will not notice a vehicle moving backwards as they make their way to the sidewalk, especially when moving in between other vehicles.
Use the vehicle’s turn signals: When pulling out of a parking space and into the flow of traffic, it is very useful to put on your turn signals to alert oncoming traffic. This is very important, especially with so many drivers using their cellphones while behind the wheel and in motion. Furthermore, by putting your turn signals on, you are alert cyclists and pedestrians that your vehicle is in motion and getting ready to enter the flow of traffic.
Never pull-out quickly: Whenever you pull out of a parking space to enter the flow of traffic, it is essential to pull out slowly so as to give a distracted motorists time to react to the presence of your vehicle. If you pull out too quickly, the impact may be greater and you may be found at fault for the accident and cited with careless driving. When there are vehicles parked on both sides of a street, two drivers may try to pull out of their parking spots at the same time. Sadly enough, collisions of this kind do occur, and they usually involve frontal and side impacts which can result in personal injury. That is one of the main reasons that the Perazzo Law Firm urges drivers to pull out of parking spaces slowly and cautiously.
Use your mirrors: The vehicle’s side mirrors and rear view mirror are purposely there to help keep motorists readily aware of the vehicles around them at all times. By knowing where other vehicles, cyclists, and other motor vehicles are, drivers are better prepared to make proper lane changes, pull into spaces, back-up more safely, and pull out of parking spots without causing a collision. When back-up, drivers may choose to turn their heads to achieve a broader view of what’s behind them when backing up into a space.
Take extra precaution when parking near corners: When vehicles are parked near an intersection, pulling out of a parking space can easily result in an accident. This holds especially true when a driver is in the last vehicle parked on a street. What usually happens is that when a driver is pulling out of the parking spot, another vehicle may be making a turn at the corner and not notice the parked vehicle pulling out. This is a very common accident situation involving a vehicle that is pulling out of a parking space. Again, the Perazzo Law Firm strongly urges drivers to proceed when caution and stay alert to oncoming traffic, especially at street corners.
INVOLVED IN A PARKING LOT ACCIDENT?
Busy parking lots can be just as dangerous as busy streets when negligent drivers are behind the wheel of their motor vehicles. Finding a parking space inside a busy parking lot can cause drivers to speed round corners as they race to pull into a parking spot before anyone else. This kind of reckless driving can easily lead to an accident that results in personal injury to pedestrians or vehicle damages to other drivers. Though the impact of a collision inside a parking lot may not be very severe, the chances of sustaining bodily harm exist whenever a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle that is backing out of a parking space or racing to find a spot. Shoppers tend to be distracted when crossing a shopping mall or supermarket parking lot, especially those with children, who seem to be the most at risk when walking through a parking lot given that drivers most often fail to notice them through their rearview mirrors. In the ‘looking down generation’, Miami motorists and pedestrians are constantly distracted by cell phone use, either while walking, riding, driving, or even while talking to face-to-face to other people. There are a lot of motor vehicles and pedestrians in Miami parking lots that form part of the looking down generation. Some areas of a parking lot in Miami may hold more potential probability for an accident than others. Motorists and pedestrians should apply added precaution in any poorly lit areas of a parking lot in Miami, as they can be more prone to a parking lot accident that may involve not only a car accident, but criminal activity or a slip, trip or fall accident in a Miami parking lot. Entering and exiting parking lots also requires added care. Automatic parking lot gates may lead to personal injury, property damage, or loss. On occasion, an automatic parking lot gate may lower on someone’s head, either while driving, riding, or walking under it, causing personal injury, or property to a motorist’s vehicle.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT IN A PARKING LOT
The first thing parking lot accident victims should do is check for injuries and then call the police to file an official report of the parking lot incident. This includes minor collisions or impacts which result in no evident physical harm or damage to vehicles. It is important to have a formal report in the event of an insurance claim on behalf of any injured parties or those that have suffered losses from the parking lot accident. In Miami, it is recommended to report a parking lot accident when the damage to vehicles is estimated to exceed $500 to $1,000. Following the accident and once a police report has been filed, the parking lot accident victim should seek medical care to evaluate any pain or discomfort stemming from the accident. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm advises accident victims that some neck or back injuries may take a few days to manifest themselves. That is why, a medical evaluation and report is important in the event of a future insurance claim for compensation to cover medical expenses brought on from the parking lot accident.
Who’s to Blame in a Parking Lot Accident in Miami?
Firstly, motorists should know that there are rules set in place for operating a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle in a parking lot in Florida parking lots. Just like Miami streets, larger commercial and public parking lots have thoroughfares and feeder lanes, which work as ‘right of way’ rules in Miami. Thoroughfares are the wider lanes inside a parking lot from which motor vehicles enter, travel through, and exit the parking lot in Miami. The feeder lanes are narrower that cut through the thoroughfares leading to the parking spots. Motorists heading along the thoroughfare have right-of-way thus the motorists entering a thoroughfare are obliged to yield. Motorists pulling out of a spot are obliged to yield to thoroughfare traffic in the same way a motorists yields to traffic when pulling out of his/her driveway onto a street, avenue, etc. Parking lot accidents as a result of a motorists failing to abide by the basic parking lot driving laws may be held legally liable for any personal injury, property damage, loss, or even wrongful death as a result of parking lot accident caused by driving negligently in Miami. Motorists may sometimes back-out into each other. When this happens, the ruling is usually 50-50, depending on the corresponding insurance or police report. Motorists that crash into another parked vehicle are usually 90% liable for property damage. Sometimes vehicles may not be parked properly and lead to a parking lot accident in Miami. Perazzo Law advised motorists that cause property damage to another vehicle to refrain from leaving the scene of the accident without reporting the incident. Failure to do so may be deemed Hit and Run, which is a criminal charge. Insurance companies have special ways of handling parking lot accidents in Miami. Even though parking lot traffic generally operates at slower speeds, with the legal limit set at 1-15 mph. impacts and collisions can be costly. Some motorists have PIP insurance, which covers up to $10,000 in damages. But if there is personal injury involved, there won’t be much left to cover a new fender and the paint job. The victim may have collision coverage, but again, there may be clauses which prevent the policy holder to collect for damages. On average, parking lot accident victims in Miami parking lots have ten days to report the parking lot accident. The Perazzo Law Firm Personal Injury staff recommends parking lot accident victims to handle parking lot accidents that result in personal injury, property damage, or loss in the same way they would a car accident on a Miami street. Seek eyewitness testimony, contact the authorities, seek medical assistance if needed, and keep all medical records. The Perazzo Law Firm urges parking lot accident victims to contact the Miami or the North Miami Beach office to find about more about parking lot related accident insurance claims in Miami.
Basic guidelines when you damage a vehicle that is parked in a parking lot
- Do not leave the accident scene regardless of collision severity. Keep in mind that there are surveillance cameras that can pin you to the accident. Failure to act responsibly, could lead to Hit and Run charges and fines.
- Try to locate owner of the vehicle you struck.
- Leave your contact information so that the vehicle owner can contact you.
- It is a good idea to contact parking lot operators or the police to prevent further complications.
THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM SHARES INSIGHT INTO PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS AND PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS
Business owners and operators of public or private spaces have a legal responsibility to provide safe and adequate conditions for all those that visit their establishments. Premises Liability is based on protecting the rights of victims that suffer personal injury, loss, or wrongful death on the private or public premises of an individual or business. The Perazzo Law Firm’s Personal Injury Litigation attorneys represent those that have suffered personal injury or loss through a Slip, Trip and Fall Accident brought on by the negligence of property owners or operators. Our Miami and North Miami Beach office attorneys and staff have handled thousands of cases for clients that have suffered personal injury during everyday activities such as: grocery shopping in a supermarket, vacationing at a hotel, dining in a restaurant, riding a roller-coaster, or crossing through a parking lot. Perazzo Law has a proven track-record of providing our clients with just compensation for injuries such as: Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, fractures, or other work related losses from Premises Liability situations. Parking Lot Accidents in Miami can either fall under Premises Liability Litigation or Motor-vehicle Accident Claim, both of which can lead to an Insurance Claim. Let the Perazzo Law Firm handle your personal injury claim following an accident in a parking lot in Miami.
What do our Premises Liability Lawyers do for our Clients?
Our Premises Liability lawyer handle cases ranging from personal injuries brought-on by a variety of unsafe conditions, including open excavations, uneven sidewalks, wet floors, crumbling curbs, snowy or icy walks, falling objects, inadequate security, poor lighting, faulty chairs or benches, among more. At the Perazzo Law Firm we handle every aspect of the Premises Liability case from beginning to end, aiming to provide our clients with a full service representation to achieve just compensation for personal injuries suffered on account of negligence.
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THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM – DEDICATED TO PUTTING YOUR INTERESTS FIRST, ALWAYS!
If you, a friend, or relative was injured in an accident that involved parking, contact the Perazzo Law Firm for a FREE initial consultation and ZERO OUT-OF-POCKET FEES to car accident clients.