Malden Parking Lot Accident Lawyer
When people think of vehicle crashes and accidents, they probably imagine terrible highway collisions involving severe injuries and extensive damage. However, many accidents and collisions happen in parking lots. These accidents tend to involve slower-moving vehicles, so the damages are a bit less extensive. However, a person injured in a parking lot accident may sue for damages related to their injuries and vehicle damage.
Parking lot accidents include more than mere fender benders. You could be hit by another car while trying to park or walking to and from your car. Visibility in parking lots is trickier because many other vehicles may obscure your line of sight. Drivers also tend to use less caution in parking lots because they are not on the highway and driving at a slower rate of speed. If you are injured, you may file a personal injury lawsuit just like any other kind of car accident.
If you were injured or suffered property damage in a parking lot accident, call our Malden parking lot accident lawyers today. We can help you evaluate your case and get your lawsuit started so you can be compensated for your damages. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to speak with our staff about a free, private legal consultation.
Common Reasons for a Parking Lot Accident in Malden
There are a number of circumstances that may result in a parking lot crash. For example, if two motorists are backing out their respective parking spaces and fail to see one another, a collision may result. Likewise, an accident may occur if one motorist is backing out of a parking spot and fails to check that no other drivers or pedestrians are in their path.
Another common way that parking lot accidents happen is when a driver enters a parking lot intersection without yielding to oncoming traffic or pedestrians. Sometimes, drivers pulling into parking lots do not slow down in time to avoid hitting pedestrians or other cars. There are also numerous other vehicles in parking lots that may obscure a driver’s field of view, making accidents more probable.
A parking lot crash attorney in Malden could help the injured victim determine who was at fault for what happened and may therefore be liable for their damages. Call our Malden parking lot accident lawyers today for guidance.
When You Should File a Lawsuit for a Parking Lot Car Accident in Malden
When it comes to personal injury cases from motor vehicle accidents, Massachusetts is a no-fault state. This means that your insurance provider will pay you up to a certain amount of coverage for your damages regardless of fault. These are known as first-party benefits. However, damages like pain and suffering and other non-economic losses are not covered.
To get all your damages covered, you must file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you must demonstrate that you suffered a threshold injury that would permit you to file a lawsuit. Such an injury would incur costs of at least $2,000, involve losing a limb, cause permanent disfigurement, or cause hearing or vision loss. If your injuries do not meet these criteria, you may be limited to a first-party claim through your insurance.
Our Malden parking lot accident lawyers can review your case and determine if you have a valid personal injury claim.
Which Driver Is Liable in a Parking Lot Accident in Malden?
It is important to note that the plaintiff and defendant may sometimes share liability in parking lot accident cases. According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 231 § 85, injured plaintiffs who are found partially liable for the underlying accident may still be entitled to compensation, provided their percentage of fault falls below 50 percent. Any percentage of fault allotted to the plaintiff would be subtracted from their recoverable damages. For instance, if a plaintiff is found 30 percent liable for a parking lot crash, they could still collect 70 percent of their total damages.
If you are found to be more than 50% at fault for your own damages, you may be prohibited from recovering anything. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney because fault is often shared between drivers in parking lot accidents. Our Malden parking lot accident attorneys can help you figure out what percentage of fault you might share and what your potential damages will look like.
Investigating a Malden Parking Lot Accident
It may seem strange to investigate a parking lot accident. You might think an investigation is more appropriate for serious accidents or hit-and-runs. However, even parking lot accidents should be investigated to uncover all possible evidence.
While investigating your accident, we can speak with the police if they were called to the scene. It is possible that the defendant was issued a traffic ticket or citation related to the accident that may help us demonstrate fault.
Parking lots are usually adjacent to retail spaces that have surveillance cameras monitoring the parking lot. We can review any existing surveillance footage in the hopes that the accident was recorded on video. We may even be able to show the footage in court if required.
Witnesses are a key element in any civil case. The defendant will undoubtedly argue they are not liable or that you are responsible for the accident. We need witnesses who can back up your claims that you are not at fault and the defendant is the one who caused the accident.
By gathering as much evidence as possible, we may convince the defendant to settle rather than go through a lengthy court battle. A settlement would get you the compensation to cover your injuries much faster than a trial. Contact our Malden parking lot accident attorneys to begin the investigation into your accident.
Damages for Malden Parking Lot Accidents
When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, there are multiple types of damages you could claim. In general, damages refer to the losses and injuries you suffered because of your accident. However, depending on the nature of your injuries and losses, you may be eligible for different types of damages.
Compensatory damages cover the out-of-pocket costs of the plaintiff and make them whole again. For example, if you had to spend $5,000 on medical bills after a serious parking lot accident, your compensatory damages would cover that $5,000 bill. Compensatory damages might include the costs of medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages if your injuries caused you to miss time from work.
Non-economic damages are similar to compensatory damages because they are intended to make up for certain losses. However, non-economic damages are a bit more ephemeral and do not come with a specific price tag. One of the most common forms of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. Enduring physical or mental pain does not directly cost a plaintiff money. However, courts may compensate plaintiffs who endured unnecessary pain due to the defendant’s actions.
Nominal damages involve little to no money. In some cases, nominal damages have been as low as a single dollar. The purpose of nominal damages is not to compensate a plaintiff for their losses. Instead, the plaintiff wants to prove a point. Nominal damages are more common in cases where the plaintiff suffered little harm, but they still feel the defendant should be held accountable for their actions.
Punitive damages do not cover any losses incurred by a plaintiff. Instead, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant and deter future wrongdoing. In Massachusetts, punitive damages are only recoverable if permitted by statute. Very few cases allow punitive damages, with one notable exception being wrongful death cases involving gross negligence or wanton recklessness of the defendant.
Our Malden parking lot accident lawyers can help you determine what damages you can claim and how much compensation you should receive.
Statute of Limitations for Malden Parking Lot Accident Claims
Under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 § 2A, a three-year statute of limitations applies to injury claims, including those involving parking lot accidents. This means that state law affords an injured plaintiff up to three years from the collision date to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Furthermore, if the plaintiff delays and does not file their lawsuit by the close of the three-year window, the court may dismiss their case without hearing it. Accident victims should talk to our Malden parking lot accident lawyers to discuss potential legal recourse as soon as they discover they are injured to avoid compliance issues with the statutory deadline.
Contact Our Malden Parking Lot Accident Attorneys
The laws governing accident claims can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Our Malden parking lot accident lawyers can help you get compensation to cover the costs of any injuries and property damage. To speak with our Malden personal injury lawyers regarding your potential case, call (617) 925-6407 now and schedule your introductory case review.