If you are involved in a car accident, it can be a stressful and frustrating situation. If you are familiar with what to do after an accident, it can help the process go smoother. Here are some things you may not know about car accidents.
Procedure for Parking Lot Accidents
MyParkingSign describes how you may be surprised to know that the most likely location for a car accident is a parking lot. Parking lots are typically very congested and have tight spacing. It can also be difficult to see objects nearby while you are backing up or turning. These accidents are usually the most confusing because it can be difficult to determine fault. To complicate things more, police typically will not respond to minor parking lot accidents. In these cases, it can be helpful to have witnesses or video evidence. Some general rules for determining fault are:
- If you hit a parked car, you will most likely be at fault for failure to control your vehicle. This is true even if a vehicle is illegally parked.
- If you are entering the flow of traffic, you must yield to other vehicles. If you are backing out of a parking space, you must always yield to other vehicles that are driving in that lane. If you are turning into the traffic flow, you must also yield.
- You can get a ticket in a parking lot for speeding, failure to obey signs, and other moving violations, the same as on a regular road.
You Don't Always Have to Report It
While the laws can vary by state, typically you don't have to report an accident that does not involve injury, death, or damage above a specific dollar amount that is set by the state. Dickson Kohan Bablove LLP explain that there is a form that you must fill out and file with the DMV, regardless of who caused the accident. If no one was hurt and the damage was under $750, the form is not required, but in most cases, the damage far exceeds that threshold. Make sure that you submit it within ten days so that you are not in violation of this regulation.
Many insurance companies offer no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in certain states to help cover medical bills, loss of income, and other expenses related to an accident. Western National Insurance reports that no-fault insurance was created to simplify and to expedite the process by making claims through your insurance company regardless of who is at fault. This does not mean that you can't be cited for causing the accident.
If you are ever involved in an accident, these tips can be very beneficial and can help streamline the process. They can also keep you out of legal trouble.
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