Most motor vehicle crashes in Delaware happen in intersections, on highways, and in other places where multiple lanes of traffic are traveling in close proximity to and usually in different directions from each other. As you may have recently learned, though, those exact same conditions—lots of cars hemmed in close to each other and pointed in various directions—can be found in parking lots outside retail stores and shopping centers, and they can just as easily lead to a wreck there as anywhere else.

Just like crashes that happen on major public roadways, parking lot accidents in Wilmington can potentially serve as grounds for civil litigation if they stem directly from a “negligent” act by someone involved. However, establishing that you have standing to sue over this sort of incident, let alone successfully holding someone else at fault for your injuries and ensuing losses, can be deceptively difficult without the support of a seasoned car accident lawyer from Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya.

Proving Someone Else at Fault for a Parking Lot Collision

Delaware state law requires automobile owners to purchase both liability insurance coverage to protect other people involved in car crashes with them and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to protect themselves, and their own passengers after a wreck. While that, fortunately, means Wilmington parking lot crash victims can often recover for things like medical bills, lost work income, and personal property damage on a “no-fault” basis, it is possible that you can also proceed to negotiations for a settlement from the other  driver’s insurance, or, if unsuccessful, to a lawsuit after a wreck occurs.

Furthermore, someone who does have standing to file suit and seek compensation for further damages—most notably “pain and suffering” caused by crash-related injuries—cannot recover on a “no-fault” basis. Instead, they will need to prove through a “preponderance,” or “majority,” of available evidence that the person they are suing directly caused their crash and subsequent injuries by doing something specifically reckless, careless, and/or illegal, such as not properly yielding the right-of-way or driving while distracted.

How Comparative Fault Can Impact Civil Recovery

Another thing worth noting about lawsuits and settlement demands built around parking lot accidents in Wilmington is that the “plaintiff” filing the claim is not immune from being found “negligent” in relation to the wreck. In fact, it is not uncommon for “defendants” being sued over crashes like this to claim that the injured person suing them was partially or even primarily at fault for causing the crash—for example because they too violated right-of-way laws or were not paying attention while walking through the lot.

Under Delaware Code Title 10, § 8132, anyone assigned a share of “comparative fault” for their own injuries in this way is subject to a proportional reduction from their final damage award based on their percentage of total fault. On top of that, anyone who holds a majority of total fault for a car crash is ineligible to recover any civil compensation for ensuing injuries, even if someone else was also partly to blame.

Contact a Wilmington Attorney for Help After a Parking Lot Accident

Running errands or going out shopping should not end with anyone getting hurt in any way, let alone someone getting seriously injured in a collision with a speeding car or truck. Unfortunately, that happens much more often in the First State than you might think, and it often results in long-lasting and even life-altering harm.

Parking lot accidents in Wilmington are worth taking as seriously as any other type of wreck, and you deserve representation from seasoned legal counsel throughout every stage of this sort of case. Call Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today to discuss your legal options.