According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 20 percent of all car accidents happen in commercial parking lots. Although parking lot accidents usually just result in property damage, there are occasions when injuries and even death occur. For example, “backing-over” injuries to pedestrians are among the most serious injuries. Minor injuries include whiplash, cuts, bruises, and swollen muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Injuries from these types of accidents are mostly due to both the driver and pedestrian not paying attention.
Pedestrians and drivers alike often suffer from a false sense of security while in parking lots. The driver may not look while adjusting his seat belt or turning on his radio. The pedestrian might be pushing a grocery cart or speaking on their cell phone. A split second of inattention can result in serious injuries, and if that happens it is important to know your rights.
Tips for Avoiding a Parking Lot Accident
To protect yourself and your passengers, be sure to practice defensive driving while in a parking lot. Watch out for other drivers going in the wrong direction and cutting across the parking lot, monitor how fast other drivers are driving, and watch for brake lights, back up lights, and turn signals. You also need to keep an eye out for people walking through the parking lot, including children and potential runaway shopping carts.
How to Handle a Hit-and-Run
Parking lots are prime territory for hit-and-run accidents, especially in situations where a driver hits a parked car while the owner is somewhere else. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run parking lot accident, it is important to file a report with the local law enforcement agency and to contact an attorney experienced in parking lot accidents to help you recover compensation for the incident.
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
Illinois sets a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state is generally two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or involved in a parking lot accident, or if your vehicle received damage as a result of a parking lot accident, we are here to help. For a confidential, compassionate, in-depth, free, and, most importantly, thorough consultation with a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer about your parking lot auto accident injury case in Rockford, Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, Oregon, Loves Park, Byron, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton, or elsewhere in the State of Illinois, call or text message us at (815) 391-0089, or e-mail us 24/7/365. We offer in-office consultations, and routinely make visits to clients’ homes, hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other off-site locations to make retaining our services as easy as possible.