Who Receives Fault in Parking Lot Accidents?

Determining fault in parking lot accidents depends on two factors: whether one or both cars moved at the time of the accident, and which driver had the right of way. Drivers of moving cars typically receive blame for accidents in parking lots while drivers with the right of way, such as when both cars were moving, generally do not receive blame, provided no other laws were violated, such as speeding or failing to stop or yield at designated areas.

Although many types of accidents occur in parking lots, most fall into one of five main types. Accidents occur when drivers reverse and back into each other, move forward from a space into moving traffic and back out of spaces, often without looking, into the path of an oncoming car. Accidents also happen when two drivers race to get the same parking spot, ultimately colliding with each other. The fifth most common parking lot accident involves one car rear-ending another stopped at a stop or yield sign. In the first scenario, both drivers typically receive blame. In the second instance, although both cars move, the driver in the traffic lane usually has the right of way, leaving the driver pulling out of the spot at fault. Similarly, drivers who back into moving cars ordinarily receive citations. The collision of two cars over a spot varies in fault assignment depending on case specifics. Lastly, drivers who hit stationary cars from behind receive fault.