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What if my car accident occurred in a parking lot?

In Los Angeles, no two car accidents are alike. Car accidents occur on highways, side streets, alleys, and even parking lots. The experienced car accident attorneys at California Attorney Group have dealt with a vast variety of car accident cases, and are dedicated to aggressively fight for your legal rights.

Although one may not think that many car accidents occur in parking lots, the truth of the matter is they happen all the time. Despite the fact that vehicles usually move relatively slowly in parking lots, drivers are speaking on their cell phones, getting distracted by their new purchases, or are focused on finding an empty parking spot. Parking lots are full of pedestrians walking to their destination, vehicles traveling in unexpected directions, cars backing out of spots, and trucks loading and unloading merchandise. The high level of activity that goes on in a parking lot, coupled with the close proximity of vehicles and poor visibility leads to many car accidents every year.

If you have been involved in a parking lot car accident, you should follow the same procedures if you were involved in a car accident on a street. Most importantly, always be prepared for the worst case scenario. If you have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot take a look at the following suggestions:

- Keep an emergency kit in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Your kit should include:
• A pen and paper for taking notes
• A disposable camera
• Information regarding medical allergies, and conditions that may require special attention.
• Emergency contact numbers.
• Insurance information
• A photocopy of your driver’s license.
• Medical supplies – such as band-Aids, splints, bandages, and antiseptic.
• You should also keep a set of cones, warning triangles or emergency flares in the trunk of your vehicle.

- If you are involved in a car accident in a parking lot, if possible move your car to the side of the parking lot away from other cars.
• If you cannot move your car away from traffic, remain in your car with your seatbelt fastened until paramedics, the fire or police department arrives.
• Put on your hazard lights.
• Set out hazard cones or a warning triangle.

Exchange Information
• Get as much information from anyone who was involved in the accident and from anyone who witnessed the accident.
• Critical information you need to obtain from the driver and owner of each vehicle involved in the accident includes, names, addressees, contact numbers, insurance company info, insurance policy numbers, drivers license numbers, and license plate numbers.
• Make sure to get names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses of the car accident.
• If it appears that the driver’s name on his drivers license is different to the name on the insurance information provided, ask why the names are different and what the connection is between the driver and the named insured.
• Take down a description of each vehicle that has been involved in the car accident, including the year, make and model of the vehicle, and the damage which has been sustained to the vehicle because of the car accident.
• Also, note with specificity the exact location that the car accident occurred. Indicate as much detail as possible, including the distance from nearby streets, and where each car was right before the accident occurred.
• Note down the time that the car accident occurred.
• Write down any statements that were made by the other drivers involved in the accident, especially if the other drivers claimed fault. For example, “I’m sorry I was speaking on the phone!”
• Do not by any means claim fault for the accident.

Photography the scene of the accident and any damage to property that has occurred.
• Photograph the nearby surroundings, to capture the time of day, the weather conditions, and the amount of traffic in the parking lot where the accident occurred.
• Take photos of any injuries you have sustained.
• Photograph the property damage to all vehicles involved in the accident.
• Take photos of any other objects or details that you believe is related in someway to the car accident.

Other Important Information
• If police officers arrive at the scene of the accident and make a report, take down the officers name, and badge number.
• If an ambulance arrives at the scene of an accident, then take down the name of the ambulance company and the ambulance license plate number.

Seek immediate medical treatment
• If you have been injured, immediately seek medical care. In fact, even if your injuries are minor or you are not in a lot of pain, you should still seek an evaluation from a Doctor because you may not be able to determine if you are in fact injured.
• When you do seek medical treatment, tell the doctor that you were involved in a car accident, and explain to the doctor how the accident occurred.
• Getting prompt medical treatment is important for your health and well being, but is also important if you decide you want to seek legal relief for your accident.

Speak to an attorney
• If you are thinking about filing a claim against the other individuals who were involved in your car accident, or if you have questions about your legal rights, get in contact with an attorney.
• Do not wait – the best time to contact an attorney in regards to a car accident is right after you have been treated for your medical injuries.

Your insurance company
• Although your insurance company will require you to contact them and make a report regarding your car accident, first speak to an attorney about your case.
• If your insurance company calls you and asks you to make a recorded statement about the details of your car accident, tell the insurance company that you are not ready to do so. Rather, contact an attorney immediately to establish the best course of action.

If you believe that you have been involved in a car accident because of some defect or improper maintenance of the parking lot itself, you may be able to claim damages from the owner of the parking lot as well as the negligent or reckless driver. Parking lot owners are responsible for properly maintaining their parking lots. This includes, proper traffic signs, lane markations, warning signs, adequate lighting, pedestrian crosswalk markations, and smooth and dry roadway surfaces free of hazzards. If a parking lot owner has not properly maintained their property causing a car accident to occur, you may be able to hold the parking lot owner jointly liable.

The experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at California Attorney Group have dealt with hundreds of parking lot car accident cases. In fact, we work on car accidents every single day. We know what steps need to be taken to get you the most favorable settlement you may be entitled to, and how to affectively negotiate with attorneys and insurance companies. If you have any questions regarding your car accident, call our knowledgeable LA car accident lawyers now toll free at 1-800-337-8547 to set up a consultation at no fee.