Any car accident may leave a driver or passenger anxious and unsure of how to handle injuries or property damage, but if an auto accident occurs on one’s private property, it may be even more difficult to determine damages and who is liable in the claim. This may pose an additional stress factor as claims regarding accidents that happen on roads and highways have a more straightforward process.

Whether you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, there are many considerations to be taken, especially when it occurs on private property. Finding a trusted lawyer and understanding how liability works will lead to more success in recovering losses.

There are several ways auto accidents occur on private property, including:

  • Careless Driving – If you drive without taking necessary precautions, such as checking your mirrors or surroundings before switching lanes, swerving or changing lanes without properly using turn indicators in your vehicle, you may play a role in accidents due to your careless actions while operating your vehicle.
  • Distracted Driving – A common factor in many auto accidents is being distracted. Whether you are texting, reading emails, eating, or messing with your radio/GPS system, when you take your attention from the road, you may easily find yourself involved in a collision.
  • Driving Under the Influence/Impaired Driving – Although this is a very avoidable instance, many drivers still operate their car under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, resulting in life threatening accidents and injuring to all involved.
  • Tailgating and Lack of Signage – Whether you’re running late and following the driver in front of you right on their tail, or assuming signage is appropriately labeled in a parking lot, accidents happen. Stop signs or right-of-way signage may not be properly identified in a lot and tailgating on top of that may lead to unexpected rear-end or t-bone collisions.
  • Uneven and Unsafe Surfaces – Asphalt and lot conditions are not always maintained and kept safe. Potholes, ditches and other obstructions may result in auto accidents on private properties.

No matter when or where you’re driving, you should always practice safe and alert driving skills, ensuring you are aware of your surroundings and other drivers on property to avoid auto accidents.

When Should You Call the Police?

If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident on a public property or road, you should call the police or first responders first, to ensure everyone is safe and injuries are minor. An accident report is always needed and the report will be vital in treatment for your injuries and your claim if another driver is at fault and liable. Realistically, the police report for your auto accident may be the deciding factor or proof needed for you to be fully compensated for your injuries sustained in the auto accident or being stuck paying your own extensive medical bills.

When you or a loved one is in a wreck on private property, police do not have the jurisdiction to complete a police report, as the location is not a public roadway or transportation route. In this situation, you could get an incident report for the auto accident, but oftentimes these reports are fulfilled by security guards, gate guards or other employees working on-property. An incident report is a simple, less extensive version of a police report. It is always better to get something in writing following the accident than nothing, as it may help you in proving the fault of the accident and injuries.

Who is Responsible for Auto Accidents on Private Property?

This is a major differentiating factor between accidents on public property versus private property. If involved in an auto accident on a public road or property, the owner of said public property (the state) typically isn’t liable at all, even if highway and road conditions played a role in or caused the accident. On the other hand, if an accident occurs on private property, the property owner may be held partially responsible or included as a party involved. If blind spots, narrow parking spaces or corners play a factor in your private property accident, some liability may fall to the owner of the parking lot, business complex or garage management.

This is very often why property owners tend to get involved in disputes between the parties involved in the accident. Property owners may feel obligated to help or more willing to assist if they know and understand that they may be partially responsible and liable for the accident and they may have access to security footage or other details playing a factor in your claim.

What Should You Do After an Accident on Private Property?

This can often be difficult to navigate and decipher, as there is a wide variety of conflicting advice for what to do following an auto accident on private property. First, contact police or the property owner to determine from whom you may get your incident report from. If injuries are sustained from such an accident, it is always wise to seek medical attention. The first thing you should do is contact the police to see if they can at least give you an incident report, and if they can’t, try to get one from the property owner or someone who works at the property.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, as a driver or passenger, on a private property, it is always wise to find a trusted and experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies every day. Their experience may help alleviate the stress of your situation as they do their part in fighting for the compensation you deserve. We never want you to feel like you have to go through it alone. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.