Car park accidents are sometimes simply just that, an accident. But sometimes they happen because someone has been negligent. Whether it is another driver, a pedestrian or perhaps the car park operator or owner that has been negligent, if you’ve been injured in a car park accident as a result, you may be eligible to file a car park accident claim for compensation.
In order to make a successful claim for compensation, you need to be able to prove that the accident that resulted in your injury was caused by another party’s negligence. There are various ways in which to compile evidence which will be discussed in this guide.
To start a claim right away, please call 0800 6524 881. Alternatively, please continue on to learn more about the claims process.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Car Park Accident Claim?
- Common Causes Of Car Park Accident Claims
- What Happens If A Car Park Operator Is To Blame?
- Common Injuries From Cars Park Accidents
- How Much Compensation For A Car Park Accident Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Car Park Accident Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Car Park Accident Compensation
- Starting The Car Park Accident Claims Process
It really doesn’t make much difference who is involved in a car park accident. If an accident takes place in a car park, public or private, and leaves somebody with an injury due to negligence of some kind, they may be found liable to pay compensation to the injured party.
To check your eligibility to make a claim, our advisors will look consider:
- Were you owed a duty of care by the defendant?; and
- Did they act negligently and therefore break that duty of care?; and
- Were you injured in a car park due to their negligence?
Under legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974, car park owners and contractors who operate car parks on their behalf, have a responsibility to ensure that car parks are safe to use and are often used to establish a duty of care existed. You need not worry too much about this as a solicitor will confirm this as part of their initial checks before accepting a case.
There are many causes for an accident in a car park that could end in a claim which may include:
- Overcrowding and congestion within the car park causing pedestrian routes to be blocked or drivers to make dangerous manoeuvres etc.
- Car parking spaces and pedestrian routes may not be clearly marked out leading to an overlap.
- Drivers parking their vehicles carelessly blocking other drivers’ vision.
- Speeding or reckless driving through the car park.
- Pedestrians not paying attention and walking out in front, or behind, moving vehicles.
- Damaged areas within the car park such as deep potholes, missing drain cover etc.
- Broken pathways causing a trip hazard.
- Inadequate lighting.
- Equipment failure in the car park.
- Poor maintenance of car park equipment.
- Fire hazards particularly in multistorey or underground car parks.
All the causes of car park accidents above that involve a level of negligence could result in someone being badly injured.
If an accident in a car park occurs due to poor maintenance of the car park, the operator/owner could be held responsible. For example, if the barrier came down whilst a car was driving into, or out of the car park, and hit the car injuring the driver or a passenger, the car park operator may be to blame.
If they hadn’t ensured the barrier had been regularly checked and serviced to make sure it was in full working order, they could be sued for negligence. If a pedestrian tripped over broken paving whilst walking through the car park, again, the car park owner/operator could be seen as being negligent in their duty to maintain the car park to a safe standard.
If a supermarket car park accident occurs because a driver was driving too fast, or pulled out of their parking space without first checking it was clear to do so, then they may be found guilty of negligence and liable to pay compensation to any injured party. This is because although a supermarket car park may be on private land owned by the supermarket, it’s still accessible to the public, and therefore a public place.
Drivers, whether on the road or in a car park, have a duty of care to drive as safely as they can to help protect themselves, their passengers, and any other people in their vicinity from becoming injured under the Road Traffic Act 1988. If they neglect this duty and somebody is injured in a car park accident as a result, they could end up being sued for compensation.
Passengers aren’t always innocent either and could cause a driver to crash their vehicle. If they block the driver’s view, open the doors or distract the driver’s attention, for example, resulting in an accident where someone is hurt, it could then lead to a case of shared negligence.
Pedestrians could also cause an accident if they do not pay attention. If you suffer an injury due to a pedestrian in a car park walking out in front of you for example, you may be eligible to sue them for compensation if you could prove the accident happened due to their negligence.
Sometimes accidents just occur and are ‘one of those things’ where no one person is particularly responsible. But if an accident occurs resulting in injury that is due to the negligence of someone else, if proven, a compensation claim may be filed.
As explained earlier, car park operators have a legal responsibility and duty of care to ensure that their car park is designed appropriately and well maintained so as to make sure it is safe for use as well as can be.
Any equipment such as the barriers should be serviced regularly to ensure they are in good working order. Any type of signage in the car park needs to be clearly visible. If the ground becomes defective anywhere causing trip hazards, it should be repaired and made safe. Warning signs need to be used when required. Any potential hazards or debris should be cleared as soon as possible. If the car park has been subjected to criminal activity, then some element of suitable security may need to be put in place to keep the car park users safe.
If a car park operator fails to make sure that the car park is as safe as reasonably possible and suitable for use, and someone is injured due to their neglect, then they may find themselves liable for compensation through filing a car park accident claim.
Many types of injuries could occur in an accident in a car park such as:
If you have been injured in a car park accident that wasn’t your fault, or would like to speak to someone about making a car park accident claim, please call us on 0800 6524 881 for free advice.
The amount of compensation for a car park accident claim will typically vary from case to case due to several factors. For example:
- How serious the injury/injuries are.
- How long it takes you to recover.
- Have you lost earnings from missing work due to the injuries?
- Have you needed a carer to help with your recovery?
- Will you require long-term treatment or care?
Although it’s not possible to provide an estimate without any details of what’s happened being known, you can use the compensation below for potential payouts for general damages. These are based on the Judicial College guidelines.
Please note, the values displayed are simply guidelines and should be considered as such.
For a car park accident claim to be successful, you’ll need to be able to prove what caused the accident to happen and that it was due to somebody else.
Evidence to help support a car park accident claim for compensation could include:
- Photos of where the accident in the car park took place as well as any CCTV or dashcam footage if available.
- Photos of your injuries.
- Any medical reports for your injuries from your GP or hospital.
- Witness statements that support your account of events.
It can also help to write down as much information as you can regarding the car park accident and how you’ve been affected both physically/mentally and financially due to the injuries you sustained. It should then be much easier for you to recall everything if needed.
If you decide to go ahead and start a claim for car park accident compensation, you have until 3 years after the date of the accident, or after the date of your diagnosis, to initiate the claim.
It is best to start your claim as soon as possible, not just because you could run out of time, but also because the events will be fresh in your mind as well as those around you. Compensation claims can take a number of months, even years to conclude. If you are out of pocket due to loss of earnings, or the need to pay for medical care, prescriptions or any special adaptions to your home if needed if your injury is severe, then the sooner you can be awarded compensation, the better.
You can, of course, start a compensation claim yourself, however, we strongly advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible following your accident.
Contacting our claims advisors is a good starting point. They provide a free consultation to discuss the events surrounding your claim to determine if you have a case. If they believe you do in fact have a case, then a personal injury solicitor from our team could process your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. That means you’ll only pay a fee if the car park accident claim is successful, and nothing at all if not.
If you’d like to discuss your injury with an experienced personal injury solicitor, you can contact us on 0800 6524 881 for a free consultation.