parking lot accidents

Motorcycle Parking Lot Accident: Who’s at Fault?

More than 50,000 crashes happen every year in our nation’s parking lots and parking garages, contributing to over 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that the #1 cause of parking lot accidents is distracted driving, which is particularly risky around motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists’ bodies are openly exposed to the vehicles and objects around them. Even a low-speed crash in a parking lot can cause a motorcyclist to be killed or severely injured.

Who is at fault for your motorcycle parking lot accident? Determining parking lot accident fault depends on a variety of factors. Below is an overview of the most important things you need to know about California motorcycle accidents in parking lots.

What Causes Parking Lot Accidents With Motorcycles?

After an accident with a motorcycle, it’s common for the other driver to say, “I didn’t even see you!” Research shows motorcycles and scooters are often overlooked in a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness.

Other drivers have a duty to stay on the lookout for motorcyclists, but they’re often too distracted to drive safely in parking lots. An NSC study revealed that drivers admit to engaging in many types of distracted driving behaviors in parking lots, including:

distracted driving and parking lot accidents

  • Using cell phones (66%)
  • Using GPS systems (63%)
  • Texting and driving (56%)
  • Browsing social media (52%)
  • Checking emails (50%)
  • Taking or watching photos/videos (49%)

Something as simple as a driver checking their makeup or arguing with a passenger can be considered distracted driving in California. There may be evidence to show what they were doing in the moments before they hit you, including social media posts, cell phone records, dash cam footage, and videos from nearby businesses.

Impaired driving is another cause of parking lot accidents involving motorcyclists. In California, about 28% of all traffic deaths are attributable to drunk driving. Drugged driving is also a serious risk, including driving while using marijuana, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs.

Parking lot arguments sometimes lead to intentional or accidental crashes. Was road rage, aggressive driving, or tailgating a factor in your parking lot accident? An angry driver might pull into a parking lot to confront you or block your path. An incident like this can quickly escalate into a deadly situation for a motorcyclist.

Unsafe road conditions also contribute to some California motorcycle accidents in parking lots. A pothole in a roadway isn’t a big deal for a large vehicle, but it can be deadly for a motorcyclist. 

If you believe the road surface, weather, construction, debris, or other road conditions played a role in your crash, take photos or videos of the scene and share your concerns with your attorney. You might have a case for premises liability, where the property owner is held responsible for the dangerous conditions that contributed to your accident.

How is Parking Lot Accident Fault Determined?

California uses the comparative fault rule to establish liability in personal injury accidents, including parking lot accidents with motorcycles. Each person’s role will be evaluated and assigned a percentage of the blame, with your share of any financial award reduced by your share of the fault for the accident.

Imagine a situation where you’re riding your motorcycle through a parking lot at a high rate of speed and a vehicle backs out of a parking spot and runs over you while the driver is texting. You might hold 30% of the blame for speeding, but the other person holds 70% of the blame for backing over you, not checking their mirrors properly, and texting while driving. In a case like this, you might secure 70% of any monetary award from the accident.

Even if both drivers are equally liable, it’s still possible to claim compensation in California. For example, if you and another driver both backed out of opposite parking spaces at the same time and collided, you might have a 50/50 split liability. Half of the full monetary award could still be $100,000 or more, which is potentially plenty to cover your main costs from the accident.

Injured motorcyclists can seek compensation for a wide range of damages like medical bills, motorcycle repairs, lost wages, disfigurement/disability, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more. If you have significant losses from your accident, consider hiring a parking lot accident attorney to help you build a strong case against the other driver.

California Motorcycle Parking Lot Accident Attorneys

San Francisco Best Personal Injury Lawyers

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we care about California’s injured motorcyclists. We’re a team of motorcycle accident lawyers with decades of combined experience helping our clients secure high-value awards. 

After your motorcycle parking lot accident, we can help you gather essential evidence that helps prove your case and hold the right person responsible. Call 877-380-8852 today and request a free case evaluation. We’re here to support you and help you make a full recovery.


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If you’re someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews… unless I’m truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

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It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible