Kansas Parking Lot Accidents: Is Fault Always 50/50?
Parking lot crash victims often need a car accident lawyer to help them navigate this tricky situation.
Car accidents in parking lots can be complicated legal cases. Whether your vehicle hits another car or another car hits you, collisions in parking lots often result in serious damage and severe injuries for everyone involved.
But who's at fault in such car wrecks? Who's responsible for paying for parking lot accidents in Kansas? And what if both drivers are each 50 percent at fault? Who's responsible for paying for accident-related expenses in a 50/50 parking lot collision?
Kansas' legal system can be confusing, especially when it comes to parking lot collisions. That's why it's important to understand how insurance compensation works in such cases.
At Warner Law Offices, our Wichita car accident attorneys know how the system works because we have years of experience handling complex claims. That's why we want injury victims to fully understand their legal rights after a Kansas parking lot accident.
What are common parking lot accidents?
First, it's important to understand the types of motor vehicle collisions that often occur in parking lots. Examples of common parking lot collisions between vehicles include the following scenarios:
- A driver backs out of a parking spot and into a moving car.
- A driver crashes head-on into another moving car.
- A driver T-bones another car, meaning the front of one car hits the side of another vehicle.
- A driver hits a parked car in a parking garage.
- A driver is hit by a car that's cutting through parking spaces.
Who is at fault in a parking lot accident?
Often, the driver who initiated the collision is the at-fault driver. For example, if a driver backs out of a parking spot into another car, the driver backing out would presumably be at fault.
Another example might include a driver who hits a car in front while they are both waiting to exit the parking garage. In this parking lot accident, the driver in the back who hit the car in the front would usually be at fault.
Does fault matter in a Kansas parking lot crash?
Kansas has a no-fault car insurance system. Your insurance company is often responsible for paying for your accident-related expenses (including most medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses), regardless of who was at fault.
Because Kansas has a no-fault car insurance system, many people think that fault does not matter when it comes to being compensated for their injury-related expenses.
But the reality is fault can be very important in many cases, especially if someone's accident-related expenses reach a certain threshold.
For example, you can step outside the no-fault system and pursue compensation from the at-fault driver if your medical treatment has a reasonable value of $2,000 or more, or if your injury includes:
- Permanent disfigurement.
- A fracture to a weight-bearing bone.
- A compound, comminuted, displaced, or compressed fracture.
- Loss of a body member.
- Permanent injury within reasonable medical probability.
- Permanent loss of a bodily function.
Keep in mind that the at-fault party's insurance company has a financial incentive to challenge the severity of your injuries and whether they meet the threshold to step outside the no-fault system. An attorney can walk you through this complex situation, advocate for your best interests, and fight for the compensation you're entitled to under Kansas law.
What if fault is 50/50?
Sometimes, both drivers are equally to blame for parking lot accidents. In Kansas, if you are involved in a 50/50 accident, you should still be financially compensated for your accident-related expenses by your own insurance company.
If your medical expenses reach a certain threshold (see above), you may be eligible to step outside the no-fault system. In most situations, it's in your best interest to talk to a car accident lawyer about all your potential options.
Is fault always 50/50 in parking lot collisions?
A common myth is that all parking lot accidents are 50/50 collisions. This means that both drivers are 50 percent at fault and equally to blame for the collision. In reality, one driver is often more responsible than another in a parking lot accident.
This is important since you may need additional money to pay for all your accident-related expenses. And if you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault, you may have a much easier time getting the money you deserve if the other driver is more than 50 percent to blame for your collision.
When should I contact a car accident lawyer?
If you were injured in a parking lot accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Unfortunately, fault for the accident is often disputed in parking lot crashes, and if you're not careful, you may not maximize your recovery and lose out on the compensation you're entitled to under Kansas law.
At Warner Law Offices, our Wichita car accident attorneys can listen to how your parking lot accident happened, answer any questions you might have, explain your potential legal options, and let you decide how you'd like to proceed. If you choose to put your trust in our law firm, we'll get right to work and start building a case for the compensation you deserve.