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Parking Lot Accidents

I was driving in a parking lot when another car hit me. The other driver’s insurance company claims the impact was too minor for me to be injured. Do I have a case?

- KT, California

Answer:

Insurance adjusters love parking lot car accident claims. That's because the adjuster gets to argue that, due to the low speed nature of parking lot accidents, the injury victim could have sustained only minor injuries. The insurance company will often advise the injury victim from the outset (and thereafter inundate the injury victim with reminder letters) that they view this as a low speed impact claim that could only have caused minor injuries.

As personal injury lawyers, we know going into one of these cases that it will be an uphill road to convince the adjuster that serious injuries could have resulted. We also know that serious injuries CAN result from parking lot accidents. Many factors can affect the severity of injuries sustained, including:

  • The type of vehicles involved
  • The speed of the vehicles
  • The angle of impact
  • The position of the injury victim's body in the car at the moment of impact
  • Whether the injury victim was more vulnerable to injury because they were elderly or had a pre-existing medical condition.

To prove that the injuries sustained could have resulted from the accident, if the potential value of the case warrants it, we sometimes hire a biomechanical engineer, who will review all of the evidence (both vehicles' repair bills, property damage photographs, medical records) and provide an expert opinion that the forces involved in the car accident were sufficient to cause the injuries claimed.

If you have been injured as the result of a car accident in a parking lot, you need a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the issues presented in these cases and who is willing to spend the money to bring in an expert to prove your claim.



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