Cars lined up in a parking lot

Who’s Responsible in a Parking Lot Pedestrian Accident?

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It may not appear so, but a parking lot can be a dangerous place for pedestrians. Although most cars are not operating at very high speeds, there are plenty of visibility issues and distractions that can lead to accidents. 

If you’ve been involved in a parking lot pedestrian accident and suffered property damage or injuries, you may be able to get compensation. Learn more about these types of accidents and how a personal injury lawyer could help. 

Assessing the Accident for Liability

Finding who was at fault for a pedestrian accident in a parking lot tends to be a complicated process. It’s important to carefully assess the circumstances that led to the collision. 

When Car Drivers Are at Fault

A large number of pedestrian accidents in parking lots occur because of distracted drivers. People are more likely to be talking on the phone, having conversations with passengers, and even fiddling with their audio systems while they’re in a parking lot. This level of distraction could lead to drivers hitting pedestrians when backing out of a space or making a turn around the lot. 

Some drivers can be so focused on finding a parking spot that they’re not paying full attention to everything and everyone around them. That’s why pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur in full or almost-full parking lots. 

If the driver was speeding in the parking lot, this can also make them liable for the accident. Because parking lots don’t generally have posted speed limits, rushing to find a space is common. 

When the Store or Location Is at Fault

In some instances, the store or other entity that owns the parking lot in which the accident happened may be at fault. For instance, a store could be liable for an accident that happens because its parking lot: 

  • Is in poor condition
  • Is insufficiently lit, especially at night
  • Contains a pedestrian walkway in an unsafe location

Keep in mind, too, that you have to prove negligence on the part of the store to be able to file a claim against them. 

Compensation if You Contributed to the Accident

Even if you were partly at fault for an accident, you might have a chance to get some compensation. New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence law state. This means that the amount of money you would be entitled to in a claim can be reduced by taking into account the percentage of fault you have in the accident. 

For example, suppose that you were walking through a parking lot with headphones on, and a car quickly backed out and hit you. In that case, you would likely be considered to have some fault in the accident because you were not paying full attention to what was occurring around you. 

The court may find the driver 75% at fault and you 25% at fault. As a result, if you were asking for $1,000 in damages, you would only get $750. Remember, though, that as long as you are not 100% responsible for the accident, it’s likely that you will be able to recover some compensation.            

Turning to a New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that took place in a parking lot, you should know that it is essential to have the right representation. At the Hunt Law Firm, we offer help for those struggling with medical issues, property damage, and other problems that were the direct results of the accident. Contact us today to learn more about how the Hunt Law Firm can help you.