Parking lot accidents can happen in a number of different ways, but in Michigan, these type of accidents are handled a little differently than for a car crash on a public road. Finding out what caused the crash - including who may be liable - can be tricky.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are prepared to fight for people injured by another's negligent driving. We have the staff and resources to fully investigate your accident, and we are prepared to help you pursue all your potential legal options. Our proven record of recovering millions for injured victims in Michigan speaks volumes about how hard we work for our clients.
Find out if you may have a case and get answers to your questions. We offer a completely free consultation - with no obligation to hire our firm - to learn about your legal options.
How is Fault Determined for a Parking Lot Accident?
Getting evidence of who caused a parking lot accident may be challenging. However, there may be a couple of ways to get some information, including:
- Camera footage: Many parking lots have video cameras keeping an eye on the lot for security purposes. You have to act fast to get any available footage, but if the incident that damaged your car is captured, it can be very helpful to your claim.
- Witness statements: If the accident happened while you were indoors shopping or simply not around, any potential witnesses may be long gone. However, some good Samaritan may have taken time to report the accident to parking lot security, customer service desk or even to the police.
- Driver testimony: There are some drivers who, even if they leave the scene, may leave a note with their contact information.
If you were in your car when the collision happened and suffered injuries, you should call 9-1-1 to get first responders to the scene. In this situation, police or accident investigators will determine who caused the accident.
When Should You Call the Police?
It is always a good idea to call the police and have an accident report filed. This step provides credible documentation that can help support your insurance claim. That said, police may not always come to the scene of a parking lot accident - especially if there are no injuries and it is just a "fender bender."
Under Michigan state law, a driver who causes an accident is required to stay at the scene until police arrive. If the police determine their presence is unnecessary, you can file a police report on your own. You may also be able to gather some additional evidence on your own, including:
- Taking pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage and any injuries related to the collision
- Exchange driver contact, license and insurance details
- Contact security - or the party responsible for the video cameras - to find out how to get copies of the footage
If there is more than $1,000 of vehicle damage or there are any injuries or death, police must be called to the scene of the accident, under Michigan state law: MCL 257.622. Neglecting to call the police may result in heavy fines and other penalties - if there was a fatal injury, the at-fault party could face jail time.
Will My Insurance Cover a Parking Lot Accident?
As long as you meet Michigan's requirements for car insurance, the no-fault benefits provided by your insurance company will cover the costs of your medical expenses and lost wages. This coverage is a provided benefit regardless of who caused the accident and applies whether you were:
- Walking in the parking lot
- Driving your vehicle in the lot
- Sitting inside your car while it is parked in the lot
You may also be eligible to pursue additional compensation through the at-fault party's insurance if your injuries are severe enough to meet the state's serious impairment of body function requirement.
If your vehicle suffered damages due to a hit-and-run accident in a parking lot, you may be able to pursue compensation for the damages under your vehicle's collision coverage. However, if the damage is relatively minor, it may be a good idea to get a quote on the cost of the repairs first. If the cost is minimal, it may be cheaper to repair the car on your own and avoid the risk of having your insurance premiums go up.
What if I Share Fault for the Accident?
Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, you will still receive your no-fault benefits.
Under Michigan's comparative fault system, you may also still be able to pursue additional damages as long as you are not assessed more than 50 percent of fault for the accident. However, if your fault is greater than 50 percent, then you will be unable to pursue additional compensation for pain and suffering or vehicle damages.
Request Help from a Qualified Attorney
Why try to navigate the complicated legal waters of an injury claim on your own? At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are ready to work hard to protect the value of your claim throughout the legal process. It is also a well known fact that accident victims often obtain more compensation with the help of an attorney than if they pursue a claim alone.
Our experienced car accident lawyers in Grand Rapids are ready to help. Our proven track record includes millions in compensation recovered for accident victims throughout Michigan. Find out if you may have a case in a free, no-obligation consultation.
Experienced Lawyers. Call 24/7: (800) 762-8623