4 Tips for Handling a Parking Lot or Parking Garage Accident

Parking lots and parking garages are crowded and busy most of the time with both cars and pedestrians. When you're trying to get into (or out of) a good spot, it's easy to end up into an accident. Even minor accidents can have serious consequences. Because of the possibility that you could end up in a lawsuit after a parking lot fender bender, it's important to take the right steps after you have one. Here's what you need to do:

1. Stay Where You Are

It's natural to want to move your car out of the way so other people aren't inconvenienced. However, many parking lots and garages are actually on private property, which means that the police won't respond unless someone is seriously hurt. That means you may be on your own to prove to the insurance company who was at fault. Take photos from several different angles of your car and the other car where they sit. 

2. Don't Rely on Anyone's Good Nature

Maybe the other driver admits his or her fault for the accident as soon as you step out the car. While that's gratifying, it won't mean a thing if he or she changes tunes later and decides that you were really at fault. While it's easy to get caught up in the moment, don't let yourself be caught off guard. Make sure that you get the license plate number of the vehicle, the name of the driver, the name of the insured (just in case they aren't the same), a contact number, and an insurance number. If you end up having to take the issue to court, you need that to be successful.

3. Call an Ambulance if You're Injured

You can still take a pretty good jolt in a parking lot accident. Whiplash injuries, where your neck is snapped forward and back, and seat belt injuries are fairly common. Both can leave you suffering from long-term injuries well after the damage to your car is repaired. Call 911 to request an ambulance if you think you or a passenger are injured. More than likely, the police will also respond; if so, let them handle the exchange of information with the other driver.

4. Let Your Insurance Company Know

While you might be tempted to handle the repairs to your car on your own, it could be a big mistake not to notify your insurance company. You have no way of knowing if the other driver might decide to blame you for the accident and sue. If you haven't reported the accident, you're probably in violation of your service agreement with the insurance company, which could leave you undefended in court. Don't risk it.

If you're involved in a car accident that's left you battered, consider contacting an attorney like McMenamin & McMenamin, PS to discuss a personal injury lawsuit.