Parking lots are common areas for collisions, slip and falls, shopping cart injuries, and pedestrian injuries. Jeff Robinette is an Experienced West Virginia Parking Lot Attorney.
Parking Lots Are Common Areas For Accidents in West Virginia
Parking lots tend to be some of the busiest locations and a source of continuous traffic in West Virginia. You constantly have drivers pulling in and out of parking spaces. Whether it is the parking lot of an office complex or a mall, you may find people rushing to get in their cars, talking on the phone as they try to make their way out or sometimes, speeding and putting pedestrians in danger. You may also have to deal with rogue shopping carts that pose a danger as they stray into your path.
While parking lot accidents often do not result in major injuries, there are instance where parking lot accidents have led to catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you have been injured in a West Virginia parking lot accident, you may still require the counsel and guidance of an experienced car accident lawyer who has successfully handled similar claims.
What Are Some Steps You Can Take After a Parking Lot Accident?
There are a number of steps you can take after a parking lot accident to help ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected. Here are some of the actions you would be well advised to pursue in such circumstances:
Safeguard yourself. The first step is to make sure you and your passengers are safe. If you or your passenger has been injured, call 911 right away so you or they can get immediate medical attention. If you need to go to the hospital or emergency room, do that immediately. Accept medical treatment that is offered at the scene by emergency personnel.
File a police report. Even if it’s “only a fender-bender” and even if you believe there has only been minimal damage to your vehicle and that you did not suffer any injuries, call the police and file a report. This is because a number of car accident injuries do not become apparent until several days or even weeks after the collision. If you discover injuries down the road, without a police report, it might just be your word against the other motorist’s.
Keep in mind that most police departments will not investigate a vehicular injury on private property. Nonetheless, the fact that a call was made will help support your injury claim.
When you have a formal accident report, you have a narrative of precisely what occurred. The police report is typically available at the police department that responded to the incident, within a few days. When a law enforcement officer does not respond to your accident scene, you should still file a report at the nearest police station or file a report online so you have a record of the incident.
Gather information at the scene. It’s important that you collect as much information from the scene as possible. This is important because if you decide to file a claim in the coming days you are going to need facts to back up everything you say. If other parties are involved, get the name of the driver (and passengers), the driver’s license number, auto insurance information, contact information and vehicle license plate number.
Remain calm. While a parking lot accident may be quite stressful and lead to a tense situation, be calm as you interact with the other parties involved in the crash. Do not get into arguments or yelling matches about what happened or who was at fault. Do not admit fault. Try not to get emotional. Stick to the facts, get the information and get out of there. If the other person refuses to give you any information or is uncooperative, you can still get other information such as the vehicle license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle. You may even take photos of the vehicle and the driver since a parking lot is considered a public place. You don’t need that driver’s permission to get photographs. It is well within your rights to do so.
Find witnesses. Look around to see if anyone else saw the accident. This witness may be someone who works at a store nearby or a shopping cart attendant, or another visitor. Many parking lots also have surveillance cameras, which capture what goes on. Try to get surveillance footage of the incident. This might be particularly helpful if your car was damaged or if you were injured by a hit-and-run driver. If you find witnesses, make sure you get their name and contact information, and ask them if they are comfortable with being contacted by you or your insurance company about the incident.
Contact a personal injury lawyer. If you or your loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident in West Virginia, it is important that you contact an experienced West Virginia car accident lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and hold the at-fault parties liable.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
The liable party in a parking lot accident is anyone whose negligence or wrongdoing caused the incident and your injuries and damages. For example, if you were a pedestrian who was struck and injured by a vehicle pulling out of a parking lot, then the driver of that vehicle can be held financially responsible for your injuries and damages. In cases where the driver was on-the-job at the time of the collision, his or her employer may also be held liable. If poor lighting in the parking lot caused the accident, then the property owner and/or property management company may be held liable for failing to keep their property safe.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Those who are injured in parking lot accidents can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of surgery and rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. If you were on the job at the time of the accident, you may also be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.
The experienced West Virginia car accident lawyers at The Robinette Legal Group PLLC are a dedicated team that is committed to providing superior customer service as well as competent and compassionate legal representation to all our clients. We understand that the aftermath of a car accident can be traumatic. We are here to help you so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery while knowing that we are handling everything else. Please call us to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.
Robinette Legal Group PLLC 211 Everhart Dr, Ste 200 Morgantown, WV 26508 (304) 594-1800
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