Car Park Accidents – Who’s At Fault? (UK Laws)

By Cat Mulligan. Last Updated 8th September 2023. In this guide, we will look at car park accidents and who’s at fault in the UK. If you’re involved in an accident in a car park in the UK, it may be difficult to determine who was at fault. However, if you can prove the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation.

To claim compensation, you would need to provide evidence that the accident was caused by a breach of duty of care towards you. We will explain duty of care further in this guide. We’ll also look at the rules surrounding reversing accidents.

car park accidents who's at fault UK

Car park accidents who’s at fault UK guide

If you have any questions about who’s at fault after a car park accident in the UK, get in touch with our expert team of advisors today. You can do this either via our website or by calling us on 0800 408 7825. They can then connect you to an experienced solicitor from our panel if your claim has a chance of success. They can represent you in a personal injury claim and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.

Read on for more information about claiming for a car park accident, what the law says about such incidents and the steps you can take.

Select A Section

  1. Car Park Accidents – Claim Eligibility Criteria
  2. What Types Of Collisions And Accidents Happen In Car Parks?
  3. Examples Of Accidents In Car Parks
  4. Car Park Accident Laws – How Is Liability Determined?
  5. What Should You Do If You Get Into A Car Accident?
  6. Car Park Accident Compensation Payouts
  7. Discuss Your No Win No Fee Car Park Accident Claim
  8. Need Some More Help?

Car Park Accidents – Claim Eligibility Criteria

Claimants wishing to make personal injury claims for car park accidents must meet certain eligibility criteria. This is:

  1. Another road user owed you a duty of care.
  2. This road user breached their duty of care.
  3. As a result of this breach, you were injured.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the duty of care for road users. It specifies that road users should use roads (and car parks) in a way that avoids causing harm to other users and themselves. They must also abide by the rules within the Highway Code. Should a motorist breach this duty of care, you could suffer an injury and may be able to make a personal injury claim.

You can contact our advisors if you have any questions about personal injury claims for accidents in car parks. They can also inform you whether you have a valid case.

What Types Of Collisions And Accidents Happen In Car Parks?

Accidents could happen in a multitude of ways in a car park. It could be that you’re sitting in a parked car and another car hits you from behind. Or perhaps you’re a pedestrian walking through the car park, and someone else is driving too quickly and knocks you down.

Car accidents may not always be the fault of another driver or pedestrian. It could be that it’s a public car park not being properly maintained. For example, if you were exiting the car park via the stairs, and there was spillage that had not been cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time, this could cause you to fall and experience a personal injury. In this case, you could potentially claim against the car park for the harm you have suffered.

There may also be cases where you’ve been assaulted in a car park. In these situations, you may be able to claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Examples Of Accidents In Car Parks 

There are many ways that accidents in car parks can occur. Accidents that involve pedestrians and other accidents in car parks, like reversing into someone else or causing a head-on collision, could result in a claim. 

Some examples of car accidents that could occur in car parks include:

  • A car reversing into a pedestrian
  • A driver exceeding the speed limit for the area and hitting another car
  • A head-on collision caused by driving against the one-way system or not checking blind spots

As we’ve already discussed in this guide, you will only be able to make an accident in car park claim if you can prove that another driver breached their duty of care to you, causing you harm. If your car was hit in a car park, contact our team of advisors today to find out if you could be eligible to claim.

Car Park Accident Laws – How Is Liability Determined?

To determine liability, there are a few things to consider. If vehicles are involved, it’s important to see if the drivers were adhering to safe practices according to The Highway Code. Or, if a driver mistake occurred, that caused an accident to happen.

Collecting evidence is really important when it comes to determining liability. The type of evidence that is really useful is CCTV, dash camera footage, eyewitnesses and images of the accident and the cause. However, if you are making a personal injury claim it is also important to have evidence of the injury you suffered. Seeking medical advice after an accident is really important not only to have the best chance of making a full recovery but also to have your injuries recorded incase you need this as evidence.

What Should You Do If You Get Into A Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident the first priority is to ensure that you and any passengers are safe. In the case of an emergency call 999. The next step if you are well enough to do so is to collect evidence. This will not only help prove liability but could also help if you decided to make a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident.

Relevant evidence will be key in giving your claim a higher chance for success.

This could include, but is not limited to:

If you’ve been in a car park accident and are worried you could be injured, it is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Not only will this help you see the extent of your injuries, but having medical records from as close to the time of the accident as possible will help validate your personal injury claim.

Time Limit For Car Park Accident Claims

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim after an accident in a car park, then you must ensure that you start your claim within the relevant limitation period. Generally, you will have three years to start your claim from the date you suffered your injuries.

However, there are certain exceptions to this time limit. These include:

  • The limitation period is suspended indefinitely for those who lack the mental capacity to start a claim for themself. During this period, a court-appointed litigation friend could make the claim on their behalf. However, if they regain this mental capacity and a claim has not already been made for them, they will have three years from the date of their recovery to start one.
  • The time limit is paused for those who suffered an injury while under the age of 18. The time limit is paused until the date of their 18th birthday. Prior to this, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf. However, if they turn 18 without a claim being made for them, they will have three years from that date to start the process.

Get in touch with our advisors using the details at the top of the page if you have any questions. They can offer you free advice for your potential personal injury claim and inform you whether you are within the time limit.

Car Park Accident Compensation Payouts

The portion of your settlement that is calculated in line with your pain and suffering is known as a general damages payment. When this figure is being calculated, legal professionals have a few different factors to take into account.

To assist them when valuing your claim, legal professionals will often turn to – amongst other resources – a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG was last updated in 2022, and it contains a range of figures associated with various injuries that you could be awarded. However, the figures should only be used as a rough guideline.

This is because every claim is different. To give an example, injuries that cause lasting damage tend to be worth more in compensation than injuries that completely heal over a relatively short period of time.

Injury Severity Amount Notes
Neck Moderate (i) £24,990 to £38,490 This involves cases where there are severe symptoms that may lead to chronic conditions or serious soft tissue injuries. The person may also have impaired function or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.
Back Moderate (ii) £12,510 to £27,760 This involves cases where damage may lead to backache, soft tissue injuries, prolapsed discs or the worsening of any pre-existing conditions.
Hand Less Serious £14,450 to £29,000 This involves cases where hand function is significantly impaired despite treatment or surgery.
Hand Moderate £5,720 to £13,280 This involves cases where there may be soft tissue injuries, crushed bones and deep lacerations. The highest amount of compensation would be awarded where surgery has failed and function is extremely limited.
Wrist (c) £12,590 to £24,500 This involves cases of less severe injuries where there may still be some permanent disability or lasting pain.
Wrist (d) £6,080 to £10,350 This involves cases where recovery takes a while but can be completed.
Leg injuries Simple femur fracture £9,110 to £14,080 No articular surface damage.
Whiplash Tariff With a minor psychological injury £4,345 This is the appropriate tariff for claimants that suffer with a whiplash injury and minor psychological damage lasting between 18-24 months.
Whiplash Tariff Without psychological damage £4,215 This is the appropriate tariff for claimants that suffer from a whiplash injury with symptoms lasting 18-24 months.

It is important to note that the numbers are just a guide – there are many different injuries which you could claim for. Get in touch for more information about if your claim could be viable.

There are two types of damages. General damages we have seen in the table above. You may be awarded special damages also. This covers financial loss, and may even cover future financial losses too. Special damages may include:

  • Loss of past and future wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  •  Adjustments to the home

In order to claim special damages, you’ll need to provide evidence of the costs you have incurred, such as payslips or receipts.

Do The Whiplash Reforms Affect My Claim?

The process of how certain low-valued road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales has been affected by the Whiplash Reform Programme. This affects those aged 18 or older who suffered a minor injury valued at £5,000 or less as a driver or passenger in a vehicle. This includes whiplash. In these instances, your claim needs to be made via a different avenue.

Also, your whiplash injury will be valued in accordance with the tariff set in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. In the table above, we have listed some of these amounts. They are fixed amounts.

Any other injuries you suffered that are not set out in this tariff will be valued traditionally. Also, if the overall value of your claim is brought over £5,000 by additional injuries, you will claim via the traditional route.

If you are unsure which avenue to take when making your road traffic accident claim, you can get in touch with our advisors using the contact details at the top of the page.

Discuss Your No Win No Fee Car Park Accident Claim

If you’ve suffered an injury or illness due to a car park accident and could prove it was not your fault, we could be able to put you through to a solicitor from our panel to make a claim.

Our panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful for any reason, you will not have to pay your solicitor anything for their time. However, if your claim is successful, they will take a legally capped fee from your compensation amount to pay for their services.

This fee percentage will be discussed beforehand by your solicitor so that nothing comes as a surprise, and will only be taken once the compensation reaches them.

For more information about No Win No Fee services, get in touch today. You can:

Need Some More Help?

Thank you for reading our guide about claiming for a car park accident and the laws relevant to such claims and determining who’s at fault. We hope it answered any questions you may have had. Feel free to contact our advisors if you still want more information. See below for some related links.

How to Claim Compensation for an Accident in a Public Car Park – A guide on how you can claim compensation after being part of an accident in a public car park that wasn’t your fault.

Car Accident on Public Property Personal Injury Guide – A guide to claiming compensation after a car accident on public property.

Car Accident Lawyer Guide – How a car accident lawyer could help you.

Physiotherapy Services – Find physiotherapy in your area on the NHS website.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents –  A charity that aims to reduce the rate of accidental injury through advice and guidance.

Whiplash Reform Program – A guide to the recent changes made to the whiplash reform program.

We also have some other guides you may find useful: