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Parking Lot Injuries: What to Do when Someone Hits You

It happens every year -- as the end of December draws nearer and nearer, last-minute shoppers take to crowded mall parking lots in pursuit of stocking stuffers and wish list items. As they circle seemingly endless parking lots in search of that single available spot, trolling pedestrians with each passing aisle, patience grows thin and frustrations rise.

Before you know it, you've been involved in a holiday shopping parking lot collision.

What types of injuries occur in parking lots?

While people don't often think about the hazards that can occur when a human being comes into contact with an automobile, this is an all-too-real situation in many congested parking lots. "Backing-over" injuries, for example, can occur when a driver who is leaving a parking space doesn't see a pedestrian behind his or her car.

Pedestrians who collide with cars which are backing out may suffer minor injuries such as bruises, cuts, and swollen muscles. They may also suffer more serious injuries such as torn tendons, injured ligaments, broken bones, and psychological trauma.

When vehicles collide with other cars in parking lots, their bodies are generally shielded from direct impact thanks to the protection of the car's body. However, that shield does not always protect drivers from pain and injury. Whiplash can occur in a parking lot accident, just as it can on the interstate. Lesions, bumps, bruises, and broken bones can also easily happen in parking lots, given substantial force and speed.

Either type of collision could also result in head trauma, internal bleeding, organ damage, scarring, or extensive and costly hospital stays.

What should you do if you're involved in a parking lot accident that caused injuries?

It's important to remember that a parking lot accident is still a car accident, and it should be treated as such, particularly if there are potential injuries involved.

  • Exchange Information. Be sure that you get the first and last name of the driver you collided with. You'll also want to exchange phone numbers and, perhaps most importantly of all, insurance information.
  • Call the Police. Police departments aren't always able to respond to parking lot collisions; however, if there is an injury involved in the crash, the police will typically respond. A police report can make a big difference down the road if you need to file insurance claims or seek assistance from the courts.

What happens if the car that hit me drove off?

If you were injured in a parking lot hit-and-run incident, gather as much information as you can.

  • Were there witnesses? Obtain names and telephone numbers, and ask for a written account of what the witness saw.
  • What can you remember? Write down everything you can remember about the car that hit you. Record the make, model, color, and approximate age of the vehicle. If you managed to catch any characters of the license plate, be sure to record those, too.
  • Where exactly were you, and when were you there? Time and specific location can play an important role if your personal injury attorney eventually needs to subpoena the shopping facility for its security camera footage.

If you've been injured in a parking lot accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your suffering, so you should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Experienced attorneys understand the hazards of parking lots, particularly around the holidays, and they can help you navigate your options.

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