How Fault is Determined When a Car Accident Happens in a Parking Lot in Greenville

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Auto Accidents

drivers-shaking-hands-after-being-involved-in-vehicle-accidentCar accidents can happen anywhere, even in parking lots. While parking lot accidents may seem minor, they can still cause serious injuries and property damage.

If you are involved in a parking lot accident in South Carolina, it is important to understand how fault is determined. This will help you to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

Greenville, SC Law on Parking Lot Accidents

South Carolina law does not have any specific rules for parking lot accidents. However, the same general rules of negligence that apply to car accidents on the road also apply to parking lot accidents.

Under South Carolina law, negligence is defined as the failure to act with the care that a reasonably prudent person would use in a similar situation. If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, they can be held liable for the damages caused by the accident.

Elements of Negligence in a Parking Lot Accident Case

There are essentially four elements that you must prove in your case to show that the other party is at fault and owes you money. Those elements include:

  1. The other party owed you a legal duty to drive with care in the parking lot.
  2. The other party breached that duty of care and did not drive responsibly.
  3. The breach of duty caused your damages.
  4. You have actual losses due to the accident.

You must have evidence to prove each individual element.

Comparative Fault in South Carolina

car-with-accident-damage-in-SC-parking-lotIn addition to proving that the other person is at fault, you need to show that they were at least 51% to blame. South Carolina has a modified comparative negligence law that allows car accident victims to collect damages from the other party as long as the plaintiff is less than 51% at fault.

Determining Fault in a Parking Lot Accident

There are several factors that can be considered when determining fault in a parking lot accident. Some of the most important factors include:

  • The Right-of-Way: Vehicles in the through lane of a parking lot generally have the right-of-way over vehicles backing out of parking spaces and vehicles entering the parking lot from a side street. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when there is a stop sign or yield sign that gives the other driver the right-of-way.
  • Speed: Drivers are required to drive at a safe speed in parking lots, even if there is no posted speed limit. If a driver is driving too fast and causes an accident, they may be found at fault.
  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents, both on the road and in parking lots. If a driver is distracted by their phone, their GPS, or something else, and they cause an accident, they may be found at fault.
  • Impairment: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Greenville, and it is also a major cause of car accidents. If a driver is impaired and causes an accident, they will likely be found at fault.

Other Factors to Consider When Determining Fault

In addition to the factors listed above, there are several other factors that can be considered when determining fault in a parking lot accident. These factors include:

  • Visibility: If a driver has limited visibility due to parked cars or other obstacles, they may be held to a lower standard of care. However, this does not mean that they are excused from using reasonable care to avoid accidents.
  • Pedestrians: Pedestrians have the right-of-way in parking lots, and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. If a driver hits a pedestrian in a parking lot, they will likely be found at fault.
  • Parking Lot Conditions: If the parking lot is poorly lit or has other dangerous conditions, the owner of the parking lot may be held liable for an accident.

What to Do After a Parking Lot Accident

man-and-woman-discussing-parking-lot-accidentIf you are involved in a parking lot accident in Greenville, it is important to take the following steps:

  1. Exchange contact information with the other driver, including your name, address, phone number, and insurance information.
  2. Document the scene. Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and any other relevant details, such as skid marks or road signs.
  3. Get witness statements. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information and statements about what they saw.
  4. File a police report. It is a good idea to file a police report, even if the accident seems minor. This will create a record of the accident and can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim. You can either call 911 or the Greenville Police Department non-emergency line at 864-271-5333.
  5. Contact a Greenville car accident lawyer who can help you file an insurance claim and hold the at-fault party responsible.

Get Help from a Greenville Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a parking lot accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can help you to understand your rights and options, and they can represent you in negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company.

Determining fault in a parking lot accident can be complex. There are several factors that can be considered, and the specific facts of each case will play a role.

Attorney Venus Poe has helped countless victims get the compensation they deserve from the at-fault party and the insurance companies that are involved. Fill out a contact form or call today at 864-523-0045 for a confidential case consultation.


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