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In most cases, parking lot accidents are often minor situations that generally do not require the retention of an attorney, unless the accident involves a pedestrian. Our firm has handled several cases in Raleigh involving individuals coming out of stores and being struck by vehicles as they exit, or scenarios in which a pedestrian is hit, but by a car moving at a much slower speed than it would be on the road. Accidents in parking lots can be different because the impact is often so minimized due to lower speeds. In car-to-car parking lot accident cases, there is not often significant damage to the cars, or significant injury sustained by the passengers.

While representation might not be necessary in your case, a Raleigh car accident lawyer can provide free legal advice in an initial consultation and advise you on whether or not you would benefit from retaining an attorney.

Driving Rules

Drivers should always be careful and exercise the same due diligence in parking lots that they would on the streets of Raleigh. Many parking lots are marked with the same signage as drivers are required to know and abide by on the road. Stop signs and turning lanes should be treated no differently than if they were approached on an actual street, but drivers need to be especially careful in parking lots because of the almost constant additional pedestrian presence. People cannot absorb impact the same way that cars can, and it is critically important to be paying attention and not speeding inside of a parking lot, because there is a higher risk of injuring pedestrians.

Laws of Liability

Within the state of North Carolina, laws of liability are all uniform, so the same liability laws can be applied to a wide array of cases. Contributory negligence plays a part in many parking lot accident cases, as drivers and pedestrians alike may feel more relaxed in a parking lot than they do on the road, but the laws of negligence are the same in a parking lot as they are on the street.

Contributory Negligence

Walking around a parking lot does not constitute contributory negligence, but an individual that is failing to pay attention to where they are going can be seen as contributory negligence. If a danger is obvious or easily avoidable and a person encounters it because they were not paying attention, their role in the injuries will be accounted for in the determination of fault. On the other hand, if there is a car speeding through a parking lot and a pedestrian is not able to judge the distance separating themselves from the car, the situation may not necessarily be something that can be avoided and would not count as contributory negligence.

Everybody has a duty to watch where they are going and avoid any type of dangers. If someone is walking in a parking lot and not paying attention to where they are, or they are on their phone or distracted by something else and they get hit by a car, contributory negligence may apply in their case. They might not be able to recover.

Insurance Companies’ Treatment of Parking Lot Accidents

Insurance companies treat car parking lot accident cases much like they treat all cases, but the insurance company also realizes that parking lot cases are different in that many times the injuries are not severe unless there is a pedestrian involved.

Insurance companies treat parking lot accidents the same as they would treat any case. They look for ways to deny liability and minimize their exposure.

We do not have personal injury protection in North Carolina, we have medical payments coverage, but it is not the same.

Raleigh Parking Lot Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a parking lot accident, you should find out whether or not you even need an attorney. If the damages are not serious, you may not need one. If you have suffered a serious injury, however, it is important to hire an experienced Raleigh lawyer who has handled cases like yours before.

You should look for an attorney with experience handling similar cases and the length of time the attorney has been in practice, and similar results. Many times attorneys are able to post some of their prior results on their web page. Of course, prior results do not necessarily mean that the individual will recover similarly. However, it does allow the individual to see that the attorney has experience in handling high level cases.