Jeff Mitchell

Jeff Mitchell

Principal Lawyer & Founder

The Parking Lot Accident 50/50 Myth

The Parking Lot Accident 50/50 Myth

We’ve all probably heard it at some point in our lives; people say that in the event of a car accident in a parking lot, fault is always split 50/50. This is a myth! I don’t know where this idea came from, but it’s what I thought was true when I started driving. It turns out; many unsuspecting drivers fall victim to the myth when their car is hit in a parking lot by another driver.

Too often I hear about people “settling” their car accidents on the spot, and accepting responsibility for accidents they didn’t cause. 

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Even a low-speed parking lot collision can result in painful lifelong impacts on a person’s quality of life. Taking cash on the spot, or accepting even a portion of the blame for the accident can result in inadequate compensation.

It’s time to dispel the parking lot accident 50/50 myth forever!

Determining Fault in Parking Lot Accidents

Suppose a car accident happens within a parking lot. In that case, insurance companies use fault determination rules stipulated within the Regulations under the Insurance Act, along with the Motor Vehicle Act, to aid in a determination of who is actually at fault for the accident. Fault is not automatically split 50/50.

While the exact fault determination of a parking lot accident will depend on the specifics of what happened, there are two handy facts that everyone should be aware of when it comes to parking lot car accidents:

First: A driver will be 100% at fault for the accident if they fail to yield the right of way to a car passing by the parking spaces in the parking lot. This means that blindly backing out of a spot or pulling out without looking is not going to be 50/50.

Second: A driver will be 100% at fault for the accident if they fail to yield to traffic traveling on the main roads or sections of the parking lot. This circumstance arises when a car in the feeder lanes, or rows of spots, attempts to merge with or cut across traffic on the main section. This one makes sense because the car in the row is pulling out onto a main lane of travel.

To add another curveball into the mix, the fault determination rules don’t consider weather conditions, road conditions, visibility, or the actions of pedestrians. They only consider the relative positions of the cars involved, their movements, and the rules of the road in the spot where the accident occurred.

People are shocked to learn this, especially if the real reason why the accident occurred was bad weather, road conditions, visibility, or pedestrians. This means that, as a Halifax car accident lawyer, my determination of who is at fault for the accident may be different than the insurance company’s determination for property damage.

After a Parking Lot Accident

When serious injuries happen, every percentage of blame you accept will reduce your injury claim compensation. When I look at a car accident claim, I have to consider all of the circumstances of the accident. Ultimately, my job is to prove that another person was negligent and was the cause of the collision. I don’t assume that any accident is 50/50 until there is evidence to show that both drivers were actually equally to blame for the parking lot accident.

If you or someone you know is injured as a result of someone else’s bad driving or negligence in a parking lot, call my team at NOVA Injury Law and receive a no-risk free case review! We ensure all potential clients come away understanding the relevant legal issues they should consider, their claim value, and why NOVA Injury Law is the right team to help.

Call now.

Are you interested in learning more about car accident injury claims? Check out this post on time limits on the Car Accident Claim Time Limit in Nova Scotia.

About us

NOVA Injury Law, located in Bedford, NS, is a personal injury law firm. We provide approachable, responsive, and compassionate representation to victims of car accidents, slip & falls, long term disability benefits denial, birth injuries, brain injuries, property damage, medical malpractice, and faulty products. We’re the only law firm in Atlantic Canada with a Doctor on the team.

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