How to Handle a Car Accident on Private Property
If you were involved in a car accident, even a seemingly “minor” one, you may have been injured. These injuries can take hours or even days to appear. To protect yourself and your legal rights after any car accident, there are steps you should take to collect evidence that will be used to prove the nature and extent of your injuries and your right to compensation. But suppose you were involved in a car accident on private property, like a parking lot, Is there anything you should do differently?
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
People who were injured in a car accident on a public roadway generally have a good idea of what to do:
- Call the police.
- If anyone suffered serious injuries, request immediate medical attention.
- Have the police officer document the scene of the crash and make an official report.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s).
- Take names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the scene of the accident, how the vehicles were positioned, and any damage to the vehicles, and try to include weather conditions, road conditions, and traffic signs.
- File a report with your insurance company.
- See a doctor.
- Hire an attorney.
The information you collect can play a critical role in proving who was at fault for causing the accident. Your attorney can use this evidence to validate your version of events, prove that the other driver was at fault, and explain the nature and extent of your injuries and how they were caused by the car crash. But what if the accident occurred on private property, like a parking lot?
Common Causes of Car Accidents on Private Property
Car accidents that occur on private property often occur at lower speeds. Nonetheless, injuries sustained in a car accident on private property can still be serious. Common causes of car accidents on private property include:
- Distracted driving, such as when a driver is eating, adjusting the radio, texting while driving, or talking on the phone.
- Careless driving, such as a sudden stop, a turn without signaling, or driver inattentiveness when a driver simply did not see the other person or car.
- Unsafe surfaces, like a parking lot that is icy, snowy, or has potholes.
- Poor signage, like poor or nonexistent stop signs, right-of-way signs, traffic direction arrows, or lane markers.
Regardless of the cause, a car accident can cause serious injuries. To obtain full and fair compensation, you will need to prove the nature and extent of your injuries, and that the other driver was at fault.
How to Handle a Car Accident on Private Property
Some Connecticut laws make specific reference to operating a motor vehicle on public roadways. These laws only apply to public roads, and a driver cannot be ticketed for violating these laws on private property. But other laws are not limited to public roadways, and police officers can enforce these laws, even on private property.
If you were involved in a car accident on private property, you should still call the police to see if they can come to the scene to complete a report and mediate any potential disagreements between the drivers and the property owner. And if you suffered serious injuries, you should call 9-1-1 and seek immediate medical attention.
When the police arrive on the scene, it may not be clear which driver was at fault. As a result, police officers may be hesitant to get involved, or will only complete an incident report instead of a full traffic crash report.
Sometimes the police will complete a full traffic crash report for a parking lot accident. But other times, a private security guard or another employee will make an incident report, which is often a simplified version of a police report. While the incident report may not contain the same information as a police report, it is better than nothing and can still be used when you try to prove who was at fault.
Who Is Responsible for a Car Accident on Private Property?
The state is not liable for accidents that occur on private roadways, even if road conditions were a factor in causing the accident. But in car accidents that occur on private property, the landowner may be partially liable if the accident was caused by a condition on the property.
For example, if there is a blind spot or a narrow corner, if the road surface was poorly maintained, or if the parking lot lacked proper signage, the property owner could be partially responsible for the accident.
Because the property owner could be partially responsible for causing the car crash, property owners are sometimes involved in resolving disputes about parking lot accidents. In some cases, the property owner will assist by providing security footage, an incident report, and other helpful details.
But other times the property owner will become defensive or refuse to help because they may bear some responsibility for causing the accident.
When you work with The Lebedevitch Law Firm, LLC, personal injury attorney Stephen Lebedevitch will use his experience and expertise to evaluate your situation, identify who might be responsible for causing your injuries, and hold them accountable.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm
Connecticut car accident injury attorney Stephen Lebedevitch fights for people who were injured in car accidents in and around Fairfield and New Haven County. He has the experience, resources, and expertise to evaluate your personal injury claim, represent you in negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company and, if necessary, take your case to court.
Stephen prides himself on providing an honest and straightforward approach to personal injury law. He understands that the personal injuries caused by a car accident can be serious, and he fights to ensure that his clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled.
If you were hurt in a car accident, we invite you to learn more about our personal injury practice, to read reviews from other people we’ve helped, and to contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.