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Understanding liability in parking lot accidents

West Virginia has one of the highest car accident rates in the country. Reports estimate that one out of every four crashes that occur in the state are a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

While accidents most often occur on highways and busy streets, a good number of them take place in parking lots. Although vehicles generally do not travel fast in parking lots, a slow-speed crash can still result in substantial injuries and even death. Even though the damage may not seem like much following a parking lot accident, it is important to establish liability in case you sustain an injury or discover significant property damage. 

The other driver as liable

Basic traffic rules still in a parking lot. A car in the traffic lane has the right-of-way over cars attempting to back out of their spots. In the event that another driver breaks these rules or texts while driving around the parking lot, then he or she will hold most of the liability. Hit-and-run accidents are common in parking lots because drivers do not think the damage is that severe. In this instance, you will either need to utilize an uninsured motorist policy or talk to the parking lot owner to see if any cameras on the premises caught the incident. 

The parking lot owner as liable

The other driver may not entirely be at fault; there may be conditions present within the parking lot that contributed to the collision. For example, a pothole in the parking lot that has been there for over a month could have caused one vehicle to strike another. Other conditions that commonly contribute to these kinds of crashes include lack of signs, a build-up of ice and shopping carts scattered around the area. Ultimately, a court decides how much liability each party holds. 

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