Determining Who May Be at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Parking lot accidents can raise two questions for those involved. Who caused the accident, and who bears liability for the accident?

If your car was hit in a parking lot while you were away, you first need to identify who hit your car. And whether your car was occupied or unattended, you must determine whether anyone bears the fault for the accident.

Read on to learn how to determine who may be at fault in a parking lot accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Duties After a Parking Lot Accident

Parking lots can sit on public or private property. Your duties after a parking lot accident will remain the same whether your car accident happened in a public or a private lot.

Accident Involving Injury or Death

If the parking lot accident injured or killed anyone, including a pedestrian or bicyclist, you must:

If you fail to take these steps, you could face criminal charges.

Accident Involving Property Damage

If the parking lot accident only damaged property, you must:

  • Stop at the accident scene
  • Exchange information with the other drivers

You do not need to report the accident to the police unless a vehicle was incapacitated and you need help removing it from the road.

Accident Involving an Unattended Vehicle

If the parking lot accident involved an unattended vehicle, you must report the accident to the police and either:

  • Try to locate the property owner or
  • Leave a note with your identifying information

When you contact the police, you will provide your identifying information. The owner of the damaged vehicle can get your insurance information from the police.

Identifying the Other Driver

Assuming the other driver follows Florida law, you can identify the other driver from:

  • Their driver’s license or insurance card
  • The note they left
  • The information they left with the police

If the driver did not provide or leave identifying information, the police would treat your accident as a hit-and-run. The police can use witnesses, security cameras, and physical evidence — like paint scrapes or broken car parts — to try to identify the other driver.

Determining Liability for the Accident

Liability for an accident depends on each driver’s actions. Tort law is the field of law that determines liability for civil wrongs. A driver who intentionally or negligently collided with another driver bears tort liability for the crash.

Intentional Crashes

If a driver intended to hit another driver, the driver has committed an intentional tort. Specifically, the intentional tort of battery happens when one person intentionally makes harmful or offensive contact with another person.

A driver who intentionally steps on the gas to nudge a car has committed battery on anyone in the car. A driver who has a medical emergency and accidentally steps on the gas has not committed a battery.

Negligent Crashes

All drivers owe a legal duty to exercise reasonable care when driving a vehicle. To prove negligence, you must show that the other driver did something unreasonably dangerous that caused your damages.

Just because the other driver caused the collision does not mean that the other driver bears the fault for the crash. A driver might not bear liability for a crash that involved:

  • Bad road conditions
  • Medical emergencies
  • Poor weather
  • Vehicle malfunctions

In these situations, a parking lot crash can happen even though the driver did everything right.

Also, more than one driver can bear the fault for a crash. If multiple drivers fail to exercise reasonable care, they could share the fault for the crash. This means that your financial award could be reduced by your percentage of fault. It’s important to have legal representation if this is the case so that you aren’t taken advantage of.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.

We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 347-7770

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-787