Leaving your car in a tight spot in a parking lot is enough to make any person nervous. That feeling of uneasiness is warranted if you return to find that another negligent driver seriously damaged your car. Depending on the practices of the parking lot, there may be options to recover compensation for damage to your vehicle. If your vehicle was struck in a parking lot, you should contact an experienced Fayetteville parking lot accident lawyer. You should not be forced to accept that a negligent driver damaged your vehicle and there is no opportunity for compensation. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is here to explain what to do when someone hits your car in an Arkansas parking lot.
How to Handle a Parking Lot Accident in AR
Parking lot accidents typically happen at a much slower speed than is typical on the road, however, that does not mean that a vehicle cannot sustain serious damage under these circumstances. If your vehicle was struck in a parking lot in Arkansas, you should take the following steps to pursue compensation for your losses.
Contact Law Enforcement
One of your first actions should be to contact law enforcement to assess the scene of the accident. The report provided by law enforcement can help you when you report the accident to your car insurance company.
Additionally, if you were in the vehicle when the crash occurred, you should consider seeking medical attention if you believe you may have suffered any injuries. Even low-speed accidents have the potential to cause a motorist to suffer a serious injury.
Exchange Information with the Negligent Driver
If a negligent driver caused the damage to your vehicle, you should exchange information with the driver. This information should include:
- The name and contact information of the driver
- The make and model of their vehicle, the license plate of the vehicle, and the insurance company that provides the driver with coverage
This exchange of information can be provided to your insurance company so they can begin a claim for compensation for the damage to your vehicle.
If your vehicle was struck by another customer that sped off without leaving their contact information, you should speak with the operators of the lot. There may be surveillance footage that shows the license plate of the vehicle that hit your car. It is also important to note that a parking lot may try to avoid liability under these circumstances.
Document Evidence of the Accident
It is important to gather evidence of the car accident to help you make an insurance claim or pursue a lawsuit against the negligent driver. For example, you should take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the negligent driver’s vehicle that can help determine how the accident occurred. Other valuable evidence that should be documented include:
- Any adverse weather conditions
- Any defects in the parking lot that may have contributed to the accident
- The area in the parking lot where the accident occurred
- The location of the parking lot
If you were injured in the crash, you should also document any injuries that you sustained.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Once you gathered evidence of the accident and exchanged information with the other driver, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. At this point, you may be contacted by the insurance company for the negligent driver. If this happens, you should consider working with a Fayetteville AR car accident lawyer to ensure that your statements to the claim adjuster that does not negatively impact your claim. The adjuster representing the negligent driver may be looking for evidence to diminish your claim and avoid liability for the accident.
To learn more about whether a parking lot can be liable for a car accident, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer.
When is a Parking Lot Liable for a Car Accident?
Parking lots have varying policies when it comes to a customer’s vehicle being damaged while in their lot. For example, some parking lots may disclaim liability for an accident. This is typical in parking lots where a customer parks their own vehicle. The ticket you receive to show proof of parking usually sets out the terms of the arrangement. Many facilities include disclaimers for theft of items, damage to a vehicle, and other related issues.
However, liability may shift under other circumstances. If a parking lot offers valet services, they are more likely to be liable for accidents that occur while your vehicle is in their possession. As the establishment took responsibility for your vehicle, they could be held liable if one of their employees causes the damage to your vehicle. This is known as vicarious liability.
Additionally, if the parking lot you used only permits customers to use valet parking, you may be able to hold the owner liable for damage to your vehicle as they had complete control of the parking lot.
If you are unsure about whether a parking lot can be held liable for damage to your vehicle, you should contact an experienced attorney.
Our Experienced Parking Lot Car Accident Lawyer is Ready to Work with You
If your vehicle was damaged due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney today. With over 20 years of legal experience, accident attorney Ken Kieklak is prepared to offer you the legal representation that you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.
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