Few things are more irritating than finding your car damaged after leaving it in a parking lot. Picture this scenario: you finish shopping at a store or watching a movie at the cinema, only to come out and find your vehicle has new scratches and dents.
In an even worse scenario, you are actually in the vehicle when the parking lot accident occurs. This can cause property damage and potential medical issues for you and your passengers.
In either situation, you might have a legal case to pursue compensation. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers offers a free consultation to see if you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. A staff member can tell you more about your legal options and explain what a New Orleans parking lot accident lawyer can do for you.
Parking Lot Accidents Have Similar Causes as Regular Driving Accidents
There are many potential causes of parking lot accidents, such as:
A driver paying more attention to their radio or conversation can be a hazard even in parking lots, where travel speeds are generally slower. Unfortunately, cell phone use is still a big cause of distracted driving, despite laws forbidding it. A distracted driver might damage a parked car or be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision with a slower-moving vehicle.
Aggressive drivers exist in parking lots, just like they do on the road. On a busy weekend in a shopping center, multiple drivers may be rushing around, trying to find a parking spot in a crowded lot. A speeding driver might hit your parked car or collide with your vehicle as you look around for a parking space. Other drivers might try to steal a spot from you, causing a collision in the process.
Driving Under the Influence
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving incidents in Louisiana outpace the nation as a whole. In Louisiana, 2.3 percent of adults admit to driving after consuming too much alcohol, compared to the national rate of 1.7 percent.
Parking lot accidents caused by drunk driving may occur in parking lots of restaurants, bars, or establishments that serve alcohol. If someone gets behind the wheel while under the influence, their judgment and reaction times are affected. Driving while drunk can pose a threat to other drivers in the lot.
For a free legal consultation with a parking lot accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 766-3527
Louisiana Shared Fault Laws and Their Potential Impact on Your Claim
Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state under Louisiana CC Art. 2323. This means even if you are partially at fault for causing your parking lot accident injuries, you could still recover compensation. Sharing liability in parking lot accidents is more common than you might think. Instances of distracted driving and driver negligence are increasingly common.
Fortunately, if you are partially at fault for your parking lot accident injuries, you do not have to worry about being barred from pursuing your case in the Louisiana civil court system. However, the law requires you to be held accountable for your portion of culpability. How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
Once the jury has awarded you compensation in your case, your injury settlement or award will be reduced to reflect your portion of liability. For example, if you were deemed 15% at fault for the parking lot accident and awarded $100,000, your injury settlement would be reduced by 15%, leaving you with a final injury settlement of $85,000.
If you have questions regarding how Louisiana shared fault laws could affect your parking lot accident claim, do not hesitate to contact your attorney with your concerns.
New Orleans Parking Lot Accident Lawyer Near Me (504) 766-3527
Our Legal Team Can Help You Pursue Property Damages
If someone struck your parked vehicle, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your property damage. Depending on how fast the other vehicle was traveling, your car might have been left with dents, scratches, or even more extensive damage. Collisions can also damage specific parts of your vehicle, like your headlights, windows, and bumpers.
Car repairs are not cheap. If your insurance does not cover the damage, you may want to hire a lawyer to help you pursue compensation from the driver who struck your vehicle. If you are fortunate, the at-fault driver might leave their information for you to contact them. You may be able to settle things with their insurance company or pursue damages through a lawsuit if their settlement offer is not adequate.
If the other driver simply left the scene, your accident may be considered a hit-and-run. It may be harder to track down who hit your car unless the parking lot has security cameras that caught the incident on tape or there was an eyewitness who stuck around to tell you what happened. Pursuing damages in a hit-and-run accident might still be possible, but it can be substantially more difficult.
Even Low-Speed Collisions Can Be Dangerous
Some parking lot accidents occur while the victim is still in their vehicle. Even though cars typically travel at lower speeds in parking lots, injuries may still occur. A common parking lot injury is whiplash, which occurs when a car occupant’s head jerks back and forth after being struck from behind. Whiplash can cause neck and upper back injuries, even if the vehicles involved in the accident were moving slowly.
Injuries can lead to medical bills and make your case a bit more complex. If you decide to pursue compensation after your parking lot accident, you can call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. A New Orleans parking lot accident lawyer can help you pursue the damages you are entitled to collect.
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Compensation for Victims of Parking Lot Accidents
When another party’s negligence causes your parking lot accident injuries, that individual or entity should compensate you for the ways the accident has affected your life.
Fortunately, you have the legal right to be made whole. You can seek compensation for financial and non-financial losses. These are more commonly referred to as economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages have fixed monetary values. Some of the economic damages you could recover in your parking lot accident claim include:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses and equipment fees
- Diminished earning capacity
- Costs of increased insurance premiums
- Unexpected child care fees
- Household maintenance expenses
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they do not have an obvious monetary value. It is up to your parking lot accident lawyer to assign your non-economic damages a monetary value so you can be compensated for them accordingly. Some of the non-economic damages you may receive include:
- Reputational damage
- Disfigurement and skin scarring
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
What to Expect From the Insurance Company
Louisiana is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes, so you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company after your parking lot accident.
However, it is important to remember that insurance companies often care more about protecting their company’s profit than what you need to get through these difficult times in your life.
Insurance companies lose money by paying claimants’ claims. They have teams of people looking for opportunities to deny you the compensation and benefits that are rightfully yours.
Have your parking lot accident lawyer step in and handle the negotiation process for you, so you do not have to worry about a money-hungry insurance company taking advantage of you.
A Lawyer Can Manage Your Case for You
It is not mandatory to have a lawyer, but hiring one means you have someone in your corner fighting for your best interests. You can pursue compensation on your own. However, if you hire a lawyer, they can offer you their services, which may include:
- Filing your case
- Calculating your damages
- Gathering evidence to support your claim or lawsuit
- Finding the liable party or parties
- Taking care of communications on your behalf
- Keeping you updated on your case
- Bringing your lawsuit to court, if necessary
You do not have to build your case on your own. A lawyer can help you file your case and get the proceedings underway as you recover from your injuries, get your car fixed, or otherwise get your life back to normal.
This is important because Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §3492 generally sets the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case to one year. If you wait too long, you might not be able to pursue compensation for the property damage or injuries you suffered.
Get a Free Consultation with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured or suffered property damage in a parking lot accident, our legal team may be able to help you pursue compensation. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (504) 777-7777 for a free consultation.
One of our staff members can tell you more about how a New Orleans parking lot accident lawyer from our firm can help you with your case.