The Unexpected Accidents In Ontario’s Parking Lots

We all know that accidents do happen in parking lots. Why then, does the title of this article refer to unexpected accidents? That is due to the fact that not a single parking lot accident was covered under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

Why does that Act make no mention of collisions in parking lots?

That Act makes no mention of such incidents, because each lot that gets used for parking cars is privately owned. The lot’s owner sets the rules, regarding what acts are allowed. The owner decides who is responsible for a given collision, unless some federal or municipal law has been broken, as per the injury lawyer in Trenton.

Can lot owners make any rules they want, regarding who is responsible for an in-lot collision?

Because drivers have been parking cars in such places for so many decades, an etiquette pertaining to parking lots has developed. Lot owners usually follow the guidelines in that etiquette. Those guidelines provide some insight into the nature of the most frequent in-lot accidents.

What do the guidelines say, regarding who is responsible for damage caused by a specific incident?

Each car that fills a parking space belongs in that spot. If it gets hit by a moving vehicle, the vehicle that hit the parked car should be held responsible for any damages or injuries. Still, there is one exception to that rule, and it is highlighted by this next regulation.

Each parking space leaves room for an auto with closed doors. If a moving vehicle hits the open door of a parked automobile, the owner of the vehicle with the open door gets held responsible for any damages or injuries.

If 2 vehicles back into each other while in the process of leaving that lot full of parking spaces, each of the drivers must bear a part of the responsibility. In other words, neither of the drivers has the right to say “It was your fault.” to the person in the other vehicle.

Not all of the regulations established over the decades pertain to the vehicles filling the parking spaces. At least one of them concerns the rights of a pedestrian, someone that has stepped out of a vehicle and is proceeding to a specific destination. If that same pedestrian has been put at risk by a reckless driver, he or she has the right to sue the negligent person that was at the wheel of that dangerous vehicle.

That does not mean that a pedestrian has the right to step in front of a moving vehicle. In that situation, the pedestrian’s own actions would have put him or her at risk, and not the actions taken by someone that is at the wheel of some automobile.