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Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

Parking lots, especially crowded ones with limited space, pose many risks for low-speed auto accidents. Although the vehicles involved usually aren’t moving quickly, these accidents can still cause vehicular damage, which can be costly, and even injuries in some cases. If you’ve been involved in an accident in a parking lot, remember that the rules of negligence apply to parking lots just as they do to roads and highways, and you may be eligible for compensation for your damages and losses. Contact our attorneys today to ensure that your rights are protected.

Parking lots can pose a variety of hazards for drivers, such as tight corners which require sharp turns, poor-quality pavement, potholes, limited visibility (especially at night), poor lighting, and faded or unmarked parking lanes. As such, there are circumstances in which the owner or manager of the parking lot may be at least partially responsible for an auto accident that occurs within it due to one or more of these conditions.

When a pedestrian is struck by a car in a parking lot, fault is not automatically one way or the other and instead depends on the circumstances of the case in question. In some cases, the driver of the vehicle may be held responsible for striking a pedestrian who should have had the right of way, while in other cases the pedestrian is the reason the accident occurred in the first place and the driver may not be liable.

Holding the at-fault party legally accountable for an auto accident requires the establishment of four key elements which constitute negligence, which is legally defined as “a situation when someone owes a duty to another person and fails in that duty, therefore becoming liable for any resulting injuries.” The first element is duty: the defendant, be it an individual, business, or government agency, must have owed a legal duty of care to the victim, which refers to the duty to drive safely and with reasonable caution, whether in a parking lot or on the open road. The second is “breach,” meaning the defendant must have failed to uphold his/her legal duty of care to the victim; in parking lot accidents, distraction and driver error are more common causes than reckless or intoxicated driving.

The third element is “causation,” meaning that the defendant’s breached duty of care must have been the direct (proximate) cause of the victim’s injuries and/or vehicular damage which would not have occurred otherwise. It goes without saying that if an accident victim’s vehicle is damaged, that damage must have resulted directly from the accident in question rather than another source in order to earn compensation. Similarly, you may be eligible for compensation for an injury sustained in an accident, but not for a pre-existing injury.

Finally, the fourth element is “damages,” which represents the victim’s damages, expenses, and losses sustained due to the accident. In parking lot accidents, compensation is most commonly sought for vehicular damage, but also for medical expenses and pain and suffering for certain accidents which resulted in personal injury.

When it comes to fault for accidents, Illinois upholds the standard of “comparative negligence,” meaning that more than one party can be found at-fault for an auto accident. However, you can only earn compensation if you were 50% or less at-fault for the accident, and your settlement will then be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the other driver is deemed 80% responsible and you’re found 20% responsible, you will be eligible for compensation, but it may be no more than 80% of your damages. In all cases, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure a fair settlement and your best chance for a successful claim.

With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, the negligent party can be held legally accountable for the accident and you can be fully compensated for your injuries and losses. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in a parking lot, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. Helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will take care of the insurance adjusters, your medical bills, your property damage, and your lost wages, and monitor your treatment so you can focus on healing and getting your life back to normal. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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