When you are driving in a parking lot, you really don’t expect to get into an accident. Low speed limits, speed bumps, and an enclosed driving space are just a few of the factors that can give you a false sense of security in a parking lot, but parking lot accidents do occur on a fairly regular basis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 2,125 people were killed and an estimated 95,000 people were injured in non-traffic crashes in the United States in 2015. The NHTSA defines non-traffic crashes as single-vehicle accidents that occur on private roads, two-vehicle car crashes in parking facilities, or collisions with pedestrians in driveways. Of the total number of estimated fatalities and injuries, an estimated 32 fatalities and 26,000 injuries were due to accidents involving two vehicles in a parking facility.
Fort Lauderdale Parking Lots
Whether you’re headed to Los Boulevard for dinner, Himmarshee Street to attend a show at the Broward Performing Arts Center, or you just decided to head down to the legendary Fort Lauderdale Strip for a few drinks or some time in the sand, chances are excellent that you will be utilizing one of the private or city-owned parking lots or garages. If you do, it’s to your benefit to be careful about selecting your spot for two reasons: not all parking lots charge the same rate and parking lots are places where accidents commonly occur.
In Florida, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) estimates that there were over 38 thousand accidents that occured in parking lots across the state, with 17 of them involving one or more fatalities. In light of the frequency of these types of accidents, there a certain things you should do at the scene of a parking lot accident to ensure that the details and relevant information concerning the accident have been properly documented.
What to do After a Parking Lot Accident in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
A car accident, regardless of where and how it happened, is a traumatic event. Your emotions will be high. You might be tempted to get angry at the other driver, or you might just be in shock. These feelings are normal, but you have to remember that the scene of the accident is where critical pieces of information are gathered, and once you leave the scene, a large portion of that evidence is lost forever. As such, there three steps you can take at the accident scene to ensure that all of the relevant details concerning how your accident occurred have been documented.
1. Try to Stay as Calm as Possible
This is by far the most obvious and normally, the most ignored step in the process, but the fact is, you cannot think well when you are stressed. People tend to allow their emotions to guide their actions, and normally, they become so overwhelmed that they cannot accurately recall how the accident and the events that took place subsequently after the accident occured. This can be particularly damaging to a legal claim. Remember, you may be required to testify about how the accident occured at some point. Thus, you want to try to think as clearly as possible in order to properly recall as much information about the event as possible with a high degree of accuracy.
2. Call the Police No Matter What
When a parking lot accident occurs, the other driver might ask you not to call the police, but this would be a mistake for many reason the most important of which is proving that an accident did occur. All calls to the police department are recorded. So, even if the police do not come to the scene of the accident, you can give the operator the make and model of the vehicles involved, the license plate numbers of each vehicle, and any other relevant information about the accident. This information can be requested later and can prove to be a valuable piece of information throughout the life of your case.
3. Record and Take Pictures of Everything
Pictures are a compelling piece of evidence that can be used for a multitude of different things such as a source of reference during witness interviews, reconstructing the scene of the accident, and proof of the damage that was sustained by you and your vehicle as a result of the collision. Moreover, you should also keep a record of the names and contact information of anyone that witnessed the accident. All of this information can be used by your car accident attorney to strengthen your claim.
In addition, you need to have a record of the extent of your injuries. This is accomplished by getting evaluated by a physician. Drivers suffering from whiplash, back injuries, or head injuries might experience delayed symptoms and not feel the full extent of their injuries until days after the accident. Due to this, it is better for you to get evaluated by a doctor after an accident, even if you have not exhibited any symptoms right after the event occured.
Car Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Choosing the right car accident attorney is an important decision. You want a lawyer that is skilled, has experience with car accident cases, explains your rights thoroughly, and can guide you through the claims process or trial if needed. 1-800-INJURED is an attorney and medical referral service with a network of car accident attorneys located throughout the state of Florida, and we are dedicated to connecting you with a lawyer that will fight for you. Don’t let a car accident ruin your future. Call 1-800-INJURED today.