Car Accidents on Private Property

A car accident on private property can happen fast and leave you feeling sore and stressed. You may panic that an accident on private property will not offer the same legal protections as one that took place on the road. However, rest assured that while some Connecticut laws apply specifically to roads, a private property accident is still covered by personal injury law.

Car accidents on private property.

It is important to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after a vehicle accident on public or private property. He or she will be able to review the relevant legal considerations with you and advise you on how to pursue justice. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can pursue fast and fair compensation to get your life back on track.

Read on to learn why private property car accidents happen and what you should do if you get into one.

Common Causes of Private Property Car Accidents

Private property covers a lot of areas you probably drive on regularly. When you visit a friend, run to a farm to buy eggs, or head to the grocery store, you will almost inevitably come off the public highway system and onto private property. 

Parking lot dangers

While accidents can happen anywhere, parking lots are one of the most common locations of accidents on private property. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are tens of thousands of car accidents in parking lots and garage structures every year. We are not just talking about minor fender-benders and dings. Hundreds die, and thousands are injured in these relatively low-speed accidents. 

Has another person’s negligence caused your accident? If so, you have the same right to seek compensation from the other party or parties that you have on public roadways. Even if you think you may be partially responsible for what happened, you still have rights under Connecticut’s comparative negligence laws. Talk to an experienced attorney as fast as possible to get the claims process started.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents on our roads, and this behavior extends to private roads and parking lots. One NSC poll found that many drivers admit to behaving negligently when driving through parking lots.

Responders say they would:

  • Make phone calls – 66 percent
  • Use a GPS system – 63 percent
  • Text – 56 percent
  • Receive or respond to emails – 50 percent
  • Watch videos or take photos – 49 percent

Parking lots are also popular spots for personal grooming, with 59 percent of teens and 53 percent of adults admitting to grooming while driving through parking lots.

It is hardly surprising so many accidents happen in parking lots even though these are lower-speed zones. 

Holiday season accident spike

Around the holidays, people have a hundred and one things on their minds. When you are rushing from store to store, you may be more focused on what you need to buy than what is happening in the parking lot or private road you are navigating. This is reflected in a higher number of insurance claims starting on Black Friday and continuing throughout the holiday shopping season.

Backing out of parking spaces

The majority of our time behind the wheel is spent driving forward. Backing out of a parking space requires extra vigilance. Limited visibility, obstacles, poor lighting, reversing too fast, and a lack of caution can combine to cause devastating injuries to pedestrians and people in other vehicles. The risk is heightened in parking lots where spaces are tight or pedestrians and other drivers are often distracted.

If someone backed up without due care and attention and hit your car, you have the same rights in a parking lot or on a private road as you would anywhere else. Talk to the attorneys of Gould Injury Law known for fighting for fast results, so you can get the best chance of receiving the compensation you need as fast as possible. 

Next Steps After a Car Accident on Private Property

Treat an accident in a parking lot or at another private property the same as one that happened on a public road. The following steps could protect your health and your legal rights.

Seek medical attention

Even low-speed accidents that take place in a parking garage or on a private road can cause serious injuries. The scary part is that you may need help fast and not even realize it.

Some injuries do not cause symptoms immediately. While the adrenaline is pumping after an accident, you may feel no pain and assume you are uninjured. It is easy at such times to downplay the need for medical attention when you actually need it as fast as possible.

Getting immediate medical treatment could also help your case down the line. You need to prove a link between your injuries and your accident. If you delay medical treatment, even by a day or two, you are giving the other side ammunition. The insurance provider could claim your injuries were not caused by your accident, making it hard to seek compensation. 

Call the police

Do not conclude that because your accident did not happen on a public highway, there is no need to call the police. It’s true that they may only be able to complete an incident report rather than a full traffic crash report. However, any officers on hand can help maintain the peace.

Many Connecticut traffic laws specifically mention certain types of public roads and, therefore, do not apply to private roads and parking lots. However, other laws impose no such restrictions. For example, if someone is subject to a license suspension, he or she cannot drive on public or private roads.

So protect your legal rights by calling the police and allowing them to evaluate the situation and decide how to proceed. A police report could strengthen your case for compensation.

Keep calm

Car accidents are incredibly stressful. It’s all too easy to say something that you later regret. Remember that your words could be used against you later.

Even if you believe you are at fault, remain quiet and calm. There will be plenty of time later to determine fault once you have talked to an experienced attorney focusing on personal injury law. He or she can handle all discussions about liability with the other party.

Gather evidence

While still at the scene, gather the other parties' contact details and insurance information. This would include the other driver, passengers, pedestrians involved, and eyewitnesses. 

The police may be limited in their authority when an accident occurs on private property. However, security services or another employee at a private parking lot or business may be able to provide an incident report. If security footage is available, it could help to determine fault.

Finally, take photos of the scene. Photograph the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you have sustained, if appropriate.

Consult an experienced attorney

As fast as possible after your accident – and before talking to an insurance provider – reach out to an experienced lawyer. Do not let concerns about your level of responsibility or the fact the accident occurred on private property hold you back. Schedule a free consultation as soon as you can to learn your legal rights and get a fast start on the claims process. 

Your Legal Rights in Private Property Car Accidents

In personal injury law, no matter where an accident happens, you must prove the other party’s negligence caused your injuries, for which you are entitled to monetary compensation. If a personal injury lawyer takes on your case, he or she must first determine fault and gather evidence to prove this.

Identifying liable parties in private property accidents

In car accidents, the other driver is likely to be the primary responsible party. Eyewitness testimony, evidence from the scene, incident reports, and security footage may be used to build a case for liability. However, on private property, other parties may bear a measure of responsibility.

The State of Connecticut cannot be held liable for accidents that happen on private property. However, the private property owner may be at least partially liable if he or she knew about a dangerous condition that contributed to the accident but did nothing to fix it or put appropriate safety measures in place.

If you were partially responsible

If your actions partly contributed to the accident, you may still be entitled to seek compensation. Connecticut allows accident victims to claim compensation even if they were up to 50 percent responsible. However, your final settlement will be reduced by your level of liability.

Seek Fast Results With Gould Injury Law

If your accident occurred on a private road or parking lot, this should not prevent you from seeking compensation. However, this is a time to turn to an experienced attorney who has handled similar cases and achieved fast results in the past.

In Connecticut, Gould Injury Law is the go-to law firm for fast results. Our dedicated legal team knows motor vehicle accident victims need fast compensation to rebuild their lives.

When we take on your case, we will use all the legal resources at our disposal to fight for fast and fair compensation on your behalf – so don’t delay. Call 888-WIN-FAST today for a free consultation, or fill out our contact form.

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