Parking Lot Accident
If you have ever been to a mall on a Black Friday, you would know exactly what it's like driving through a busy and crowded parking lot.
Due to the sheer number of obstacles, most drivers in parking lots are very distracted. With their attention divided, they are less likely to spot a car that is suddenly stopping to take an available space or another car rapidly backing out of its parking space to leave.
Simple steps to take after a parking lot accident
Regardless of the circumstances, as a driver, it is your responsibility to look out for all obstacles including other drivers and pedestrians.
If you happen to be involved in a parking lot accident, below are three simple steps to follow:
Stop & Park
Stop and park in a safe location near the accident. Remember to engage your emergency brake before stepping out of the car.
Track Down the Other Driver
Unable to track down the other driver
If you are unsuccessful in locating the owner of the other car, leave a note on the windshield of the car, including your name and contact information.
When you receive the call from the other driver, provide your insurance information and refrain from discussing details of the accident.
Report the accident to your insurance agent right away and he/she will take care of filing the claim for you.
Situations involving another driver in a parking lot
We always recommend our customers to call 9-1-1 after a car accident. However, in most parking lot situations, you will likely be told that because parking lots are considered private properties, the police will not respond to the scene, unless there are injuries or altercations involved.
If the accident involves another moving car in the parking lot, you may choose to approach the other driver and exchange information. In any accident scenario, when you do approach the other driver, refrain from apologizing or discussing accident details.
Look for witness
In these accidents involving another moving vehicle, look for others in the parking lot who may have witnessed the accident. Ask if they are willing to provide their account of the event along with their name and contact information. A statement from an independent witness can come in very handy, especially in parking lot incidents where the at-fault responsibility of the accident is not always clear.
Exchanging information with the other driver
During information exchange, politely ask the other driver to provide name, contact information, and insurance information.
The easiest way is to snap a picture of the other driver's:
If the other driver is unwilling to cooperate or unable to produce valid insurance information, consider calling 9-1-1 and report the accident to summon a police officer.
Consult with your insurance agent
The details involving this type of situation may vary case by case. We recommend consulting with your insurance agent to help you resolve any insurance related issue. With prior experience and professional knowledge, your agent will be able to help guide you through the situation.