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Rows of cars in a packed parking lot with snow on the ground.

A Portland Car Accident Lawyer Explains What to Know

Life can get very busy this time of year as everyone gets ready for the holidays. Many people get in their cars and head out to the mall, to supermarkets, and to shopping plazas. Unfortunately, the rise in traffic also means a rise in car accidents that happen in parking lots and parking garages.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are tens of thousands of crashes in parking lots and garages across the country every year, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Insurance companies report the number of claims goes up on Black Friday and stays above normal through the rest of the holiday shopping season.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Parking Lots

What’s causing all these accidents? According to an NSC public opinion poll, distraction is a big factor.

The poll suggests distraction goes beyond rushing from store to store and thinking about to-do lists. Respondents were asked if they would engage in certain behaviors while behind the wheel in a parking lot. Many said they would:

  • Make or answer phone calls – 66%
  • Use a GPS/navigation system – 63%
  • Adjust settings on a digital music device – 58%
  • Review or send text messages – 56%
  • Glance at or read alerts or notifications – 56%
  • Groom (fix appearance) – 53%
  • Use social media – 52%
  • Review or send emails – 50%
  • Look at, take or post photos or videos – 49%

Distractions are dangerous because they take the driver’s attention away from driving. The driver’s attention may only be diverted for seconds, but a lot can happen during that time. A car can drive around the corner looking for a spot. Or a pedestrian can walk in front of a car, or behind one that is backing out. According to the NSC, 9% of pedestrian deaths in parking lots happened in collisions involving drivers backing up.

People can be seriously injured in parking lot accidents. They may need extensive treatment, and medical expenses can add up quickly. If they can’t work because of their injuries, there is less money coming in, which results in financial stress. Many people wonder how they will pay the bills.

Getting Legal Advice Is Important

If another driver was responsible for the crash, you shouldn’t have to pay for their recklessness. But negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies may question the seriousness of a victim’s injuries or argue they were pre-existing. Sometimes they’ll make a settlement offer, but it will fall far short of covering all of the damages suffered.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis fight for the injured. We know how to investigate crashes to get the facts and build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously. Our lawyers fight for maximum compensation, whether that’s through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

We hold negligent drivers accountable. If you were hurt in a Portland parking lot accident, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our attorneys can review the details of your crash, go over your legal options and answer any questions you have so you can decide what to do next.

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