Justia Badge
Brown Alumnus
American Association for Justice
Rhode Island Association for Justice
TNTL Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Avvo Ratong 10.0

Parking Lot Car Accidents

A Rhode Island Accident Lawyer Can Help You After a Parking Lot Accident

Navigating parking spaces can be difficult. Especially in a busy grocery store parking lot or mall parking garage, there are dozens of cars backing out, numerous distractions, and pedestrians crossing the lot, car accidents are inevitable. In fact, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), 20% of all vehicle accidents occur in parking lots. If you are one of the many involved in a car accident in a parking lot in Rhode Island, Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian can help you to recover compensation for your injuries.

It’s a common belief that because the speed limit in a parking lot is slow, you are safer from accidents than on the road. However, the expectation that traffic will move slowly gives drivers a false sense of security, and the sheer volume of activity and distractions foster many accidental crashes. Additionally, drivers are often more distracted by multitasking in parking lots than on the road. For example, drivers entering a shopping center may be preoccupied looking for a vacant parking spot and fail to notice other drivers or pedestrians.

Determining liability for a collision that happens in a parking lot is different than for an accident on a normal public road. Many parking lots are considered private property; thus, liability can sometimes fall on the parking lot owner as well as the at-fault driver. Potholes, lack of signage, poor lighting, snow and ice can put both pedestrians and drivers at risk of a serious accident. In these situations, it is imperative that you hold the parking lot owner responsible by seeking legal representation from an experienced parking lot accident lawyer in Rhode Island to help you seek justice.

Common Parking Lot Accidents

In Rhode Island, there is a comparative negligence section of the law that helps determine just compensation from all responsible parties. Often, there is shared fault in car accidents, especially those that take place in parking lots. Below are some examples of common parking lot collisions that result in partially shared fault. 

  • Driver backs out of parking spot into an ongoing car
    • Due to the fact that both drivers were moving, and had the duty to check if the other was moving, each driver may hold some responsibility. The percentage of fault will vary based on the particular situation.
  • Rear End Collisions
    • If one car rear-ends another, the moving driver will be at fault in most situations. This is usually the case, even if the front car stops suddenly for pedestrians. 
  • Drivers back into each other
    • In this situation, both drivers were moving and didn’t check their rear-view mirrors, so both drivers are responsible for the collision. Thus, likely both drivers will share the fault 50-50.
  • Driver hits pedestrian while backing out or at a crosswalk
    • Pedestrians are usually not found at fault in these scenarios because there are no traffic signals in parking lots. Vehicles are expected to yield to all pedestrians anywhere in the lot. When a driver fails to do so, they are often found at fault.
  • Drivers collide in parking lot with dim lighting, accumulated ice, or at exits
    • These collisions are caused by the negligence of a property manager, and often the fault falls on these lot owners and not the drivers, though some fault may be dispersed depending on the situation.

How Should I Proceed with a Parking Lot Accident Claim?

With a parking lot collision, it is important to determine who is really at fault for the accident. Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian is experienced with all types of accidents, including those that occur in parking lots, and can help you clarify who was responsible for the crash and how to prove negligence. You may have a claim against:

  • The other driver: Proceeding with this type of parking lot accident claim is similar to a regular accident on the road. Either an informal settlement or a civil suit may resolve the dispute. However, each case is unique and you should never move forward with a settlement without consulting an accident lawyer.
  • The parking lot owner: This type of claim is often more difficult to prove. In these situations, the parking lot owner would have had to do something that caused your accident. For example, if the parking lot had not been salted for ice, and you lost control of your car and collided with another, the lot owner may be found at fault. An experienced accident lawyer can help determine your strongest course of action in pursuing compensation.

Contact Attorney David Tapalian for a Free Consultation

Dealing with an auto accident like a parking lot collision can be stressful, and you may be unsure of how to proceed. To ensure that you have the strongest legal representation on your side, contact a Rhode Island parking lot accident attorney at Tapalian Law. Let Attorney David Tapalian and his 20 years of experience assist you with the difficult aspects of filing a claim. With offices in Providence, RI, Warwick, RI and Seekonk, MA, Tapalian Law’s personal injury professionals are easily accessible to anyone in RI or MA. Our dedicated team of legal experts can walk you through the steps to receive the compensation you deserve. Rhode Island has a three-year deadline to file a car accident claim, so it’s important you don’t wait to contact us. Call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000 for a free consultation, or reach us online.

Client Reviews
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.