Parking lots can be dangerous places, particularly during the busy holiday shopping season. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), tens of thousands of traffic-related crashes occur in parking lots every year. NSC data also reveals that traffic accidents in parking lots increase during the holidays.
If you are a pedestrian injured in a parking lot accident this holiday season, you could be entitled to recover compensation. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our New York injury attorneys have what it takes to help you hold the driver who hit you accountable for their negligence.
Contact us today for a free, no-risk initial consultation to speak with one of our attorneys. We will discuss your case and review your options. Below, we’ll look at some tips for pedestrian and driver safety in parking lots over the holidays and what you can do if you are injured as a pedestrian.
Tips for Pedestrians in New York & Long Island
Pedestrians in parking lots should exercise care and caution at all times, and particularly during the holidays. Parking lots are often filled with busy shoppers, and many of them might be distracted, aggressive, or otherwise careless and may fail to see you. Since distracted driving is one of the most common causes of traffic-related accidents, pedestrians need to keep their safety top of mind.
With that, let’s look at some safety tips for pedestrians in parking lots:
- Make sure that you are visible – Drivers often fail to notice pedestrians, especially if they are distracted or in a hurry. One way to avoid being hit by a driver is to make yourself as visible as possible. If you are walking in areas with heavy traffic early in the morning or after dark, be sure to wear bright or reflective clothing. Many pedestrian accidents occur in low light conditions. You should also try to make eye contact with motorists as you pass in front of them. This will give you peace of mind that they noticed you and reduce the likelihood of a crash.
- Use designated walking spaces – If sidewalks or crosswalks are available within parking lots, try to use those designated walking spaces instead of crossing in front of or behind motor vehicles. If you need to walk in a roadway or lane because pedestrian infrastructure is unavailable, then you should walk on the far left side in the direction of oncoming traffic. That way, motorists can see you, and you can see them.
- Don’t get distracted – Don’t use your cell phone while traversing a parking lot. Many pedestrians get distracted listening to music, watching videos, talking on the phone, texting, or doing other activities on their phones while walking through parking lots. Many people let their guard down in parking lots because they incorrectly assume that parking lots are safer for walkers. However, parking lot accidents can easily occur. Try not to get distracted and focus on safely crossing the parking lot to your destination.
Tips for Drivers in Parking Lots During the Holidays
Drivers are responsible for looking out for pedestrians and other motorists when driving in parking lots. If you’re driving in a parking lot this season, follow these tips to prevent accidents:
- Concentrate on driving – Don’t get distracted by texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, or other activities that may cause you to fail to notice pedestrians and other motorists. According to a poll by the National Safety Council, 66% of all motorists surveyed expressed that they would make calls while driving in parking lots. More than half of all drivers surveyed, 56%, said they would text in a parking lot. These activities should be avoided while operating a motor vehicle, just as they should be on the highway.
- Back into parking spots – Dozens of pedestrians are killed each year by cars backing out of parking places. By backing into a parking spot when you arrive, you will have a clear view of any pedestrians or traffic hazards when you pull out.
- Don’t drive aggressively – Some people get impatient waiting for pedestrians to cross or waiting for other motorists to pull out of a parking space. Whatever you do, don’t drive aggressively in a parking lot. In the spirit of the holiday season, try to be kind and forgiving. It could prevent a severe accident.
Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident
If you are a pedestrian injured in a parking lot accident, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Depending on the details of your case, you might be able to recover compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages if you can’t return to work while you recover
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries leave you temporarily or permanently disabled
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Because New York is a no-fault state, you will pursue compensation through the driver’s no-fault insurance policy, also known as “personal injury protection.” However, if your losses exceed the $50,000 limit or if you sustained a serious injury as defined by New York state law, then you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Pursuing compensation can be challenging. The insurance company will probably use various tactics to minimize your claim or deny it outright. That’s why it is critical to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a traffic accident. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process and secure the settlement you deserve.
Contact Our NY Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Were you injured in a parking lot accident this holiday season? If so, contact the experienced New York pedestrian accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss the details of your case. If you choose to hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you hold the driver who hit you accountable for their actions.
We have the resources to investigate the accident that caused your injuries, collect evidence to prove liability, determine liability, and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. We will handle every aspect of your case on your behalf, so you can focus on recovering.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review.