Elements of a Tennessee Parking Lot Accident

There are many common elements that an attorney will uncover in parking lot accidents that differ from street accidents. For example, as opposed to street accidents, many pedestrian accidents happen when an individual is walking behind a car, or goes between two cars and is hit.

To determine the role of negligence involved in your Tennessee parking lot accident, it is critical that you contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to gather all the necessary evidence to help their client achieve a successful outcome.

Frequent Accident Patterns

In Tennessee parking lot accidents, there are often people who are injured when a car backs out of a parking space but they do not see them. The tough part about this situation is that there are two competing elements.

If a person is driving through the parking lot, they must be more vigilant and expect that people will be walking to and from their cars. On the other hand, if a person is walking through the parking lot, they must expect that there are going to be cars backing out. The individual must be smart in either scenario, and understand the elements involved whether they are on foot or behind the wheel of a car.

Purpose of Low Speed Limits

The purpose of low speed limits in a parking lot exist because if there is a collision between a car and a person, that person will almost always be the one severely injured.

The hope is that, with a slower speed limit, the damages and the injuries the individual suffers will be significantly less. If a person is driving slower, the individual has more time to react to a car that they may not have seen sooner.

Accident Response

When the parking lot accident in Tennessee happens on private property, the owner’s policies will determine the response to the accident. In Nashville, generally, law enforcement will do an accident report on private property. They will always make one if there are any significant injuries, but are less likely to do so on private property than they are on the street.

The property owner sometimes could be liable in these cases. A lawyer will determine if the parking lot was well lit, if it was striped accordingly, or if it was a safe place for both the vehicles and the pedestrians.

Other than that, law enforcement will proceed like they would for an accident that happens in the roadway. They will determine elements such as who had the right of way, who was paying attention, who was not paying attention, and who is responsible for creating or causing the Tennessee parking lot accident.

After a parking lot accident, an individual should call the police to make sure they have done everything they can to file a report. If they cannot, the individual must attempt to contact any witnesses that may have seen the accident, consult with a lawyer, and gather any video evidence that may be present. An individual can also take pictures with their phone and make sure that there a good path of evidence for what occurred.

Role of Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are more likely to fight parking lot accidents in Tennessee. The insurance company will often argue that the client was not paying attention to where they were going, so they cannot recover damages.

There is more of a gray area in the elements of a Tennessee parking lot accident because it is often not simple to determine who had the right of way or was in the roadway first. Independent witnesses can be important in these cases. Surveillance video can also be important because without those, many times, insurance companies will tend to deny these claims more than other claims.

Contributory Negligence

When determining negligence, the insurance adjuster will look at whether the driver or pedestrian was acting reasonably and lawfully.

An individual must walk through a parking lot to get to their car, and a driver must realize that people are going to be walking around the parking lot. However, the pedestrian still must pay attention. For example, they should not be looking at their phone while walking through a parking lot.

Many times, people in cars may feel like even though they cannot text or look at their phone on a roadway, they are somehow allowed to do so while driving in a parking lot. However, this is not true. The driver is entering an area where they know that there are pedestrians and people that are vulnerable to being hit.

Importance of a Qualified Attorney

When attempting to determine negligence in a Tennessee parking lot accident, an individual will want a lawyer that has specific experience with such accident and premises liability cases. They will need an attorney that can get spoliation letters out quickly, which are letters to whoever owned the property to make sure that any surveillance video is secured.

An individual should consult with a lawyer that can have an investigation team go out to these locations and take photographs before there are any changes to the scene. Further, an experienced lawyer should have knowledge of what experts are relevant in these type of cases.