Parking lot pedestrian accidents in Atlanta, GA can lead to immense overall complications, including serious injuries and long-term limitations. Along with those injuries, you may have substantial medical bills–and your injuries can prevent you from going back to work. If you suffer serious injuries in a parking lot accident in Atlanta, GA, what legal options do you have?
Who Bears Liability for Parking Lot Accidents?Georgia law notes that pedestrians almost always have right of way, which means cars must yield to pedestrians–including cars in a parking lot. Parking lots offer some of the busiest, most dangerous locations for pedestrians, since cars may travel in multiple directions, move outside what you assume to be their assigned lanes, or try to cut people off in an effort to get the spaces they want.
Driver LiabilityMost of the time, drivers have to move out of the way for pedestrians, especially in parking lots. Even if the pedestrian seems to have walked in a specific area illegally–jaywalking, for example–drivers need to slow down, stop, or allow pedestrians to pass safely. A driver who fails to exercise adequate care around a pedestrian, which may result in an accident with severe injuries, may bear liability for that accident. Drivers may also bear liability in a variety of circumstances in a parking lot accident. For example, a driver may bear liability if he:
- Ignores the traffic patterns in the parking lot, causing an accident to a pedestrian who struggled to predict his behavior
- Could not see someone behind him while backing up, resulting in an accident
- Grew distracted in the parking lot, including looking down at a cell phone or changing the radio or air controls while driving, and caused an accident with a pedestrian
- Drove under the influence, resulting in an accident
Pedestrian LiabilityHowever, there are circumstances under which the pedestrian may bear liability for the accident. For example, if you run suddenly out into the road or in front of the vehicle or ignore posted traffic signals in the parking lot, or if you cross in the middle of a dangerous area where it is clearly posted that you should not be, you may bear liability for the incident. Public inebriation, and the dangerous behaviors that often result from excessive alcohol consumption, can also leave you partially or fully liable for the parking lot accident. Security footage of the parking lot may provide evidence of your actions, especially if you behaved negligently or dangerously. In some cases, driver and pedestrian may share liability for the accident. If you bear partial liability for a parking lot accident in Atlanta, you may have the compensation you can recover reduced by the percentage liability you bear.
Other Parties Who May Share LiabilityYou may also note circumstances under which another party shares liability for a pedestrian accident in a parking lot. For example, did you have an accident with a driver on the clock at the time of the accident? Did the driver feel pressured to meet the demands of his employer: a pizza delivery driver, for example, who might have peeled out of the parking lot in a desperate effort to make a deadline for delivery? Did a commercial driver who had inadequate mirrors on his truck cause your accident in your injuries? If so, the driver’s employer may also share liability for your injuries. In some cases, the owner of the parking lot–most often the business that the parking lot is attached to–may also share liability for pedestrian accidents in the parking lot. For example, if the business provides inadequate walkways for drivers or has obstructed the parking lot in some way that makes visibility very difficult, increasing the risk of a serious accident, the business may share liability for any accident caused by those obstructions or challenges. If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in an Atlanta, GA parking lot, get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help identify the liable party in your pedestrian accident and even collect evidence about the incident, which can help establish your right to compensation.
What Compensation Can You Expect for a Pedestrian Parking Lot Accident in Atlanta, Georgia?Following your injuries in a pedestrian parking lot accident, you should work with an attorney to learn more about your right to compensation. Most of the time, following a pedestrian accident with a vehicle in an Atlanta, Georgia parking lot, you will need to seek compensation through the liable driver’s auto insurance. Georgia law dictates that all drivers must carry at least minimum liability insurance in order to legally operate their vehicles. After an accident, the driver’s insurance bears liability for any damages caused by that driver’s negligence. An attorney can help break down the compensation you may deserve for injuries sustained in an Atlanta parking lot accident. In general, however, compensation breaks down into three key elements.
- Compensation for your medical expenses, which will cover any medical bills you sustained as a result of the accident and your injuries
- Compensation for wages you lost if you could not return to work immediately after your accident
- Compensation for the pain and suffering you went through as a result of pedestrian injuries in a parking lot