Car accidents on private property are affected by Florida’s no-fault insurance system. If you are in a car accident on private property and damage that property, you will claim your own injuries on your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. On the other hand, the property owner will make a claim for their damages to your Property Damage Liability coverage.
What to Do After an Accident on Private Property in Florida?
- Report the accident to the authorities. Call the police and report the accident. Ask for a copy of the report even if the police do not respond to the accident scene. Also, report it to any security personnel available at the private property.
- Get medical assistance immediately if anyone is hurt. This is especially crucial where children are involved. It is even more vital if the accident is severe and may result in serious physical injuries. As with all car accidents, not all injuries – or their severity – will be visible right away.
- Make sure to exchange information with the property owner and with all parties to the accident. Get information from any potential witnesses as well. They will be challenging to track down after the fact.
- Take pictures of the scene, concentrating on your injuries and damage to personal and private property.
- Don’t sign anything or accept any offers from an insurance company. Speak to a lawyer with experience in this type of accident before you do anything along these lines.
What Is a Typical Private Property Car Accident?
Parking lots are a common site for private property car accidents in Florida. People often pay attention to something other than driving and may have reduced vision when backing out of a parking space. Accidents can happen when:
- Backing out of a parking space.
- Two drivers backing out at the same time.
- Failing to give a pedestrian the right of way.
- Failing to give another driver the right of way.
- Two drivers trying to get into the same space at the same time.
- Ignoring parking lot stop signs.
Are Parking Lots Private Property in Florida?
Most of the time, they are. This means, first, that police may not respond if there are no severe injuries. It also means that the property owner has a duty under negligence law to reasonably maintain the safety of the parking lot. You might have a claim against the owner if the accident happened at least partly because of poor light or poorly maintained pavement.
Does Fault Matter in a Parking Lot Accident?
Yes. After your PIP coverage is exhausted, the driver at fault may be liable for your remaining damages. Most of the time, in a parking lot, this will be the driver backing out.
Do I Need a Lawyer with No-Fault Coverage?
Yes. You should never forget that the insurance company lawyer who has been right there through the whole process does not work for you. That attorney works for your insurance company and is offering you a settlement offer that will be in the insurance company’s best interests and not yours. The subtle complexities of private property accidents in Florida mean that an experienced attorney can make all the difference for your final recovery.
Call Us to Speak to a Pensacola Car Accident Attorney Today!
Private property accidents are tricky. Eric Stevenson and Chris Klotz have decades of experience handling car accidents in Florida. Call 850-706-4538 in Pensacola to speak with an attorney about your accident or injury today. Contact Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers for help with your motorcycle accident.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.