One of the primary differences between an accident taking place in a parking lot and taking place on a street maintained by the city or the county or the state is that the parking lot is private property and unless there is an injury that requires medical attention, it is unlikely that a police officer will create a report for a parking lot accident and it is also unlikely that the at-fault driver will be ticketed for an accident that occurs on private property. These cases can be complex, so it is important to work with a Charleston parking lot accident lawyer if you have been in an accident. A skilled auto accident attorney who has experience in a variety of cases can help to pursue compensation for your damages after an accident.
Rules of Safety
The rules of safe driving really do not change no matter where a person is driving, be it a parking lot or the street, but it is important primarily that a person pays attention to their surroundings. With respect to lower speeds when two vehicles are involved, that typically means lower property damage and lower likelihood of the injury.
When car accidents happen on private property, which is typically where a parking lot accident in Charleston takes place, police have jurisdiction to enforce the rules of the roadway. These parking lots are maintained by private entities as opposed to that of the city or the county or the state. Therefore, when an accident happens in a parking lot, unless there is serious injury that requires EMS, it is unlikely that an investigating officer will either issue a ticket or create a report for an accident that has happened.
Speed of Traffic
The speed of traffic on the interstate is much higher than those on our city streets. Those high speeds can cause more severe property damage and, more importantly, lead to more severe injuries. It is important that someone involved in an accident at a high speed seek and receive medical attention as soon as possible. A call to 9-1-1 is best, so that medical personnel can arrive on the scene as quickly as possible. In the case of life-threatening injuries, an emergency medical helicopter typically will have a room to land between the opposing lines of traffic.
Charleston parking lot accident attorneys will be able to work with their client’s insurance in their case. Insurance can treat parking lot accidents just like they would with any other automobile accident. One disadvantage that both of the injured parties and the insurance company has in these type cases is the absence of a police report or the issuance of a ticket.
However, fault in a parking lot accident is analyzed just like fault in any other type of accident. A person operating a vehicle, whether it is in a private parking lot or a public road, owes a duty of care to act reasonably in operation of their vehicle and a failure to act reasonably can result in liability on the part of the at-fault driver.
Rather than contributory negligence, in South Carolina, there is comparative negligence. There used to be contributory negligence, but Charleston law has changed and it applies both to parking lot accidents as well as any other accident on any other public roadway.
In a comparative negligence, an injured party can be up to 50% at fault in causing their own personal injuries and still make a recovery. For example, if a person has sustained $10,000 in damages but nonetheless is 50% at fault in causing their own damages, then a jury award for that amount of $10,000 would be reduced by 50% and that person would be entitled to $5,000 or half of the $10,000 in damages. However, if a person is 51% or greater in causing their own damages and injuries, then there is zero recovery under the comparative negligence law in South Carolina, whether it be in a parking lot or on a public road.
Contacting a Charleston Parking Lot Attorney
As with any case involving automobile accidents with injuries, a person should look for experience primarily, number one, in making a decision on which attorney to hire. Just as in any profession or any job, the person with more experience is going to have a better knowledge of what to expect in any particular case. You should also look for concentration in that area as well. A person wants to look for a Charleston parking lot lawyer that concentrates their practice on accident cases and will best know how to handle your particular case.