If you drive a motor vehicle, you’re probably familiar with the “rules of the road.” These are the laws and regulations that govern our daily actions on Arkansas streets and highways. But there’s another place where your car spends a lot of time each day: parking lots.
Does Arkansas have laws that are specific to parking lots?
If you’re involved in a parking lot accident in Arkansas, there are several things you should know…
Most parking lots are considered private property, but the rules of the road still apply.
The Arkansas Code includes a section of laws specifically written for traffic accidents. Each of those laws contains one very important sentence: “An accident of this nature shall include all accidents which occur upon the streets or highways, upon the parking area of private business establishments, or elsewhere throughout the state.”
This means that if the accident occurs in a parking lot accident, Arkansas drivers are still required to…
- Immediately stop and/or return to the accident scene where a person has been injured or killed or where property has been damaged (AR Code § 27-53-101).
- Remain at the scene of the accident for a reasonable amount of time (at least 30 minutes).
- Provide his or her name, address, registration number of the vehicle.
- Give “reasonable aid” to any injured passengers or drivers, which includes calling an ambulance if necessary (AR Code § 27-53-103).
What should you do if you hit a parked car?
Parking lot accidents may involve an unattended car. There’s a law for that, too. If you sideswipe an empty car in your local grocery store parking lot, Arkansas law requires you to either
- Locate the vehicle owner, explain the situation, and give them your contact information, or…
- Leave a written note in an obvious location (like the windshield). The note should contain an explanation of the accident and the driver/owner’s contact information ((AR Code § 27-53-104).
Any driver who leaves the scene of a collision without notifying the other driver and providing contact information may be guilty of a Hit and Run.
Should you call the police if you’re involved in a car wreck in a parking lot?
Yes, you should still call the police for a parking lot accident.
If the accident is minor and there are no injuries, you may call the non-emergency number for your local Arkansas police department. It’s still important for a police officer to conduct a proper investigation at the accident scene. Depending on the severity of the accident, the officer may use a different type of accident report or private property report. The longer you wait to report the accident, the more difficult it may be to determine what happened.
If you are the victim of a parking lot accident in Arkansas, gather as much information as possible.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove fault when accidents occur in parking lots. To avoid being trapped in a “he said, she said” standoff, record evidence.
- Use your phone camera to take photos of each car, the damage to both vehicles and any posted signs or painted arrows near the spot of the crash.
- Talk to witnesses. Did anyone see the wreck? Ask for their names and phone numbers; their testimony may be important evidence.
- Ask the store if they have security cameras and, if so, if you can see a copy of the footage.
To avoid being trapped in a “he said, she said” standoff, record evidence.
Consider hiring a car accident lawyer to represent your claim.
Parking lot accidents are not always minor. They can result in significant property damage or personal injury. If you were the victim of a car accident, you may have legal rights to compensation.
The expert legal team at Taylor King Law will handle your case from start to finish, whether gathering witness statements or obtaining security footage from the accident scene. To begin your FREE, no-obligation consultation, call 1-800-CAR-WRECK (1-800-227-9732) or submit a form through taylorkinglaw.com. We’ll be on your side, by your side.