It probably won’t surprise you to know that an accident in a public car park is quite a common occurrence. With so many cars crammed into enclosed spaces a crash in a car park may seem inevitable. There are several different scenarios that can lead to accidents, not just car crashes, which this article will cover in more detail.
Accidents could happen in a supermarket car park, a multi-storey car park, a hospital car park or just about any other type of car park which is open to the public. Injuries could be inflicted on drivers, pedestrians and even car park staff. Any of these people could be eligible to make a personal injury claim if the accident was caused by negligence and led to an injury.
If have any queries, why not contact us today. For more information, please carry on reading this guide about how to make a car park accident claim.
Choose a section
- A Guide To Claims For Accidents In A Public Car Park
- What Qualifies As An Accident In A Public Car Park Which You Could Claim For
- Personal Injury Claim Calculator For An Accident In A Public Car Park
- What Else Could You Claim After An Accident In A Public Car Park
- Different Parties Who Could Be At Fault For Your Accident In A Car Park
- Accidents Caused By Another Driver
- Accidents Caused By Facilities At The Public Car Park
- Public Car Park Accidents Injuring Pedestrians
- Car Passenger Injuries
- Injuries Caused By A Hit And Run In A Car Park
- What Should You Do If Injured In A Public Car Park?
- Establishing The Car Parks Negligence
- No Win No Fee Claims For An Accident In A Public Car Park
- How To Start Your Public Car Park Accident Claim
A Guide To Claims For Accidents In A Public Car Park
When an accident in a public car park occurs, which was caused by the negligence of somebody else, you might be able to claim compensation if you’re injured in the accident.
This article aims to explain what you should do following a car park accident, how to assess who’s liable and the types of car park accident that can happen. It will also show you the amounts of compensation you could be entitled to as well as using a no win no fee personal injury solicitor to make a claim.
We’ll cover these types of accident in more detail but in brief you may be able to claim for:
- Parking accidents (cars reversing out and hitting another vehicle).
- Being hit by a car park barrier.
- Pedestrians being hit by vehicles in a car park.
- Slipping or falling in a car park.
- Injuries caused by defective equipment in a car park.
What Qualifies As An Accident In A Public Car Park Which You Could Claim For
To be eligible to make a claim, accidents in a public place, such as a car park, need to meet the following criteria:
- The defendant, or person you blame, owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care.
- And because of that breach, you were injured in an accident.
When you use a car park which is open to the public, the owner owes you a duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. This means they should take steps to ensure your safety while on site.
They can do things like maintain all equipment properly to ensure its safe to use, repair damage such as potholes and ensure the floor doesn’t become slippery (in icy conditions for instance).
Other drivers also owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty of care. This means they should pay attention at all times and drive appropriately (within speed limits etc).
Therefore, if you’ve had an accident in a car park, the chances are you were owed a duty of care. You, or your personal injury lawyer, would then need to prove that the duty was breached and that you sustained injuries because of that breach.
Proving negligence and liability for an injury can be tricky. We offer advice on how to do so in this guide but it’s probably good advice to speak with a personal injury claims specialist as they have the expertise in making claims that could save a lot of time.
It’s important to note that public injury claims, under UK laws, have a time limits associated with them. This means, you must submit your claim on time or forfeit the right to make a claim.
The personal injury claims time limit is currently 3 years from the date of an accident. For children under 18, their parents could claim while they’re under 18, or they have 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday.
Personal Injury Claim Calculator For An Accident In A Public Car Park
When you suffer an accident in public car park, you may want to work out how much compensation your injuries might be worth. A personal injury claims calculator can help which is why we’ve provided the table below:
|Neck injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £130,060||From basic whiplash type injuries through to much more serious injuries which result in loss of movement and permanent pain|
|Hand injury||Minor -> serious||Up to £54,280||Injuries included in this category start with soft tissue damage and go on to serious injuries which cause long term loss of use|
|Wrist injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £52490||Injuries included in this category start with sprains, strains and soft tissue damage then up to injuries which cause permanent loss of the wrist function|
|Arm injury||Moderate -> severe||Up to £114,810||Injuries included in this category start with injuries that do heal fully but are painful and on to injuries to the arm that are classed as the severest injuries|
|Finger injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £32,210||Injuries included in this category start with bruising and soft tissue damage and onto more severe injuries causing the amputation of one or more fingers.|
|Thumb injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £48,080||Injuries included in this category start with brusing to the thumb and simple soft tissue damage through to complete amputation of the thumb.|
|Back injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £141,150||Injuries included in this category start with sprains and strains through injuries which restrict movement and are painful until healed (long term)|
|Toe injury||Moderate -> severe||Up to £49,180||Injuries included in this category start with basic soft tissue damage injuries and through to complete amputation of all toes.|
|Ankle injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £61,110||Injuries included in this category start with sprains, strains and bruising through topermenant loss of function.|
|Foot injury||Minor -> very severe||Up to £96,150||Injuries included in this category start with soft tissue damage and then on to complete loss of the foot.|
|Leg injury||Minor -> severe||Up to £119,210||Injuries included in this category start with soft tissue damage through to injuries which result in some form of permenant disability.|
This shows how much compensation can be paid for public accident claims (and other claims) for different types of injury. The list doesn’t cover every possible injury but provides a broad range of injuries. When you speak with a personal injury lawyer, they can provide you with a more accurate estimate, once they’ve assessed your claim.
What Else Could You Claim After An Accident In A Public Car Park
When a lawyer assesses the impact of a public accident, they have several ‘Heads of Loss’ available to them. These are different reasons for claiming compensation. Some example heads of loss include:
An amount of compensation that is awarded to cover the pain and suffering caused by an accident.
This covers any treatment, prescription or over the counter medicines. Although the NHS treatment is free, private care may be required at times (physio for instance).
The cost of making trips to and from medical appointments, physio, solicitors etc could all be included in a claim. You might also be able to claim for any costs associated with making alternative travel arrangements while you recover from your injuries.
This loss covers any financial cost associated with professional care linked to the accident.
Loss of Income
If the claimant loses income, because they take time off work, they may be reimbursed as part of their claim. In cases where work will be affected in the long term, your lawyer could claim for future lost income too. This is determined by your current age, salary and your job prospects.
Damaged Property Costs
A lawyer can look to recover the cost of repairing or replacing any item damaged at the time of an accident.
Not all these elements are guaranteed to be paid as part of a compensation claim. It’s therefore important to speak with a lawyer before committing to any expense. They will be able to offer advice as to whether you are likely to get the cost back within your claim.
The financial aspects of a claim are known as special damages. These are not a fine or a penalty on the defendant. They are simply meant to return you, financially, to the position you were in before you were injured.
Different Parties Who Could Be At Fault For Your Accident In A Car Park
When you begin claims for accidents in public places, such as car parks, you need to ascertain who was liable. A car park accident could be the fault of:
- Another driver
- Car park operators
Determining who is at fault for a car accident in a public parking lot can be tricky. It is advisable to explain the situation to a personal injury lawyer and let them work out who to claim against. There are different types of claim, depending on which regulations are used, so its best to leave this to the experts.
Accidents Caused By Another Driver
In the same way that road traffic accidents are dealt with, if another driver causes an accident, through some form of negligence, and you are injured, you could claim against them or their insurance policy.
Even though driving conditions can be tight in car parks, if another driver fails to see you while reversing and collides with your car, or hits you as a pedestrian, you might be able to claim for any injuries you sustain.
If another driver collides with you while driving above the speed limit in the car park, you may be able to claim. It will be tricky to prove but CCTV or witness statements might help with this type of claim.
Accidents Caused By Facilities At The Public Car Park
As mentioned earlier, a car park operator has a duty of care to all users. They will have public liability insurance in place which could be claimed against in the event of an accident caused by poor maintenance, slippery conditions or faulty equipment.
Examples of where the operator of a car park could be liable include:
- If a barrier at the entrance or exit is faulty and strikes you or your vehicle.
- When, in wintery conditions, the car park hasn’t had any ice cleared making it slippery and causing you to fall.
- If bollards, pillars or barriers are in a poor state of repair causing you to be cut or injured.
Public Car Park Accidents Injuring Pedestrians
Even though pedestrians don’t have to have insurance like drivers do, they still have a duty of care to ensure they don’t cause an accident. If they walk out in front of a car, causing an accident in which the driver and passengers are injured, it might be possible to claim against the pedestrian.
Car Passenger Injuries
Passengers inside a car are just as susceptible to injuries as a driver is. In a collision, a passenger can suffer from:
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries.
- Head injuries including concussion.
- Back injuries.
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Muscle or ligament damage.
Injuries Caused By A Hit And Run In A Car Park
This guide has covered what to do following an accident in a car park but what if the other driver who causes an accident, doesn’t identify themselves, thus committing a hit and run offence?
In the same way that the driver responsible for a road traffic accident has to stop and provide their details to the other driver, the same is true in a car park. Failure to report an accident in car park does not mean that you can’t make a claim though.
The insurance industry in the UK has a scheme which can pay compensation for those injured by uninsured drivers or hit and run drivers. The Motors Insurers Bureau (MIB) can be contacted, with the details of what happened in the accident and they could compensate any injured parties.
You’ll need to report the accident to the police and provide the reference number to the MIB. You should also contact your own insurer, as it’s probably in their terms that you report all accidents to them. They might help trace the other driver too.
What Should You Do If Injured In A Public Car Park?
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident in a public car park, we recommend that you take the following actions. Public injury claims are much easier when you have some of the evidence that these steps will provide you with.
Steps to Take
- Visit a doctor or a hospital in more serious cases. This will ensure your injuries are assessed and treated properly. It will also mean there are medical records that a personal injury lawyer can use as a basis for your claim.
- Photograph the scene of the accident. Doing so, before any vehicles are moved, will provide an insight of what happened.
- Get the other driver’s (or pedestrian’s) details. Try to get their number plate, name, telephone number, insurance company and policy number if possible.
- Photograph any visible injuries which can be used to demonstrate the severity of the injury and substantiate the medical records.
- Ask any witnesses to write a statement of what they saw happen. Also ask for their contact details in case they need to be contacted in future.
- Report the accident to the car park operator. They should log the accident in a report book. This could be obtained as further evidence that the accident took place.
- Make a note of what happened as you remember it. Include dates, times, locations and who was present. It’s very easy to forget this information once you’ve left the scene of the accident.
- If there is CCTV in the area, or dashcam footage, try to obtain copies. If you can’t get copies, because of data protection, speak with a lawyer who may be able to act on your behalf.
While these steps won’t guarantee a successful compensation claim, they will make a claim easier. Presenting this evidence to a lawyer at the beginning of a claim can speed things up dramatically so it’s worth spending a bit of time after the accident taking these steps.
Establishing The Car Parks Negligence
When claiming for an accident in a public car park, whether it be a supermarket car park, a council operated car park or a pay and display car park, proving negligence caused the accident and your injuries is key to making a claim.
As established earlier, the car park almost always owes users a duty of care, so the key thing to do is prove negligence. But how do you do so?
Well, using a number of the steps in the previous section can really help. This means you should photograph anything you believe caused the accident. So, if you slipped on ice, try to capture the fact it is icy, and no salt has been laid. Or if a barrier has struck your car, get a photograph while the barrier is still on top of the car.
Witness statements are a useful tool to proving negligence too. Especially if the witnesses are independent, i.e. not known to you. The more witnesses who confirm what happened, the better.
Other important evidence that can prove negligence is CCTV or dashcams which are becoming more and more popular. It is the type of evidence that can really prove that a fault or negligence caused your accident to occur. You should approach the car park operator to ask for copies of the CCTV but, if they won’t provide it (or can’t), speak with a lawyer.
No Win No Fee Claims For An Accident In A Public Car Park
The rules surrounding no win no fee claims changed in 2013. Previously, if you won your claim, you’d receive 100% of the compensation awarded. The defendant would have to pay for your lawyer’s fees as well.
That’s no longer possible under new rules. Instead, when you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA, also known as the no win no fee agreement), you’re agreeing to pay your lawyer a ‘Success Fee’ if they win the case. You don’t have to send them a payment as it is retained from any compensation awarded to you.
Success fees are limited to 25% of your compensation and might be less. As an example, if you were awarded £5,000 compensation for your car park accident claim, it would be paid to your solicitor who would retain £1,250 and send you £3,750 (assuming a success fee of 25%).
The success fee is used to pay for the services of your lawyer. But the good thing about no win no fee is that, if the case is lost, the lawyer doesn’t have to be paid.
So, although it’s not as nice as receiving 100% of the compensation, no win no fee does remove the risk of paying a large legal bill but receiving no compensation if the case is lost. No win no fee, in our opinion, is still a benefit and removes the financial risks involved with making a claim.
How To Start Your Public Car Park Accident Claim
If you decide, having read this article, that you want to claim compensation following an accident in a public car park then we advise that you use the services of a no win no fee personal injury lawyer.
Claims can become complex and it’s almost certain that a car park operator or an insurer for any other defendant will use their own lawyer to either reduce the compensation amount, or to try and disprove liability to avoid paying any compensation.
If you want further information, you can contact us online of if you want to speak with an injury specialist, here are some that you could use:
Hopefully, this guide about claiming for an accident in a public car park has been useful for you. For further information, here are some other relevant and interesting guide articles which you might find useful:
Claiming for Accidents in Parks – a guide about accidents claims in public injury claims in parks.
Pothole Injuries – Useful information about claiming compensation for injuries caused by potholes.
Public Liability Claims – Details on how to claim against a business’s public liability insurance policy for accidents that they cause.
Whiplash Injuries – Information from the NHS about the whiplash which can occur following a car accident in a public car park.
Motor Insurers Bureau – The insurance industry backed service that can provide compensation when a hit and run incident happens, or if a driver is uninsured.