Yes, you can pursue compensation after a car accident on private property, but there will be a few procedural differences. Although you might not have realized it at the time, you most likely drive on private property frequently. For example, when you run errands, you might park your car in the grocery store or shopping mall parking lot. If you go out to eat or stay in a hotel, you might use their parking lot.
Those lots are private property. Because these are not public streets or highways, the rules of the road do not necessarily apply, but the principles of negligence do control who can be at fault for a car accident on private property. People cannot hurt others through carelessness on private property and escape liability.
Evidence That Could Help With Your Private Property Car Accident Case
Just as with any other personal injury claim, you will need evidence to prove negligence in a car accident. Even in crashes on public streets and highways, a driver can be liable without getting a ticket. The information in the police report can help to establish who caused the accident.
Also, many parking lots of commercial establishments have multiple security cameras that could provide useful footage from several angles. You will want to contact every business that might have video footage you can use right away before they erase or tape over the footage that you need for your case.
If you can do so safely, taking pictures on your phone of the scene, all the vehicles from all sides, every driver and passenger, and every bystander could be valuable. The at-fault driver might flee the scene, falsely claiming that they cannot be liable for an accident on private property. Your photos of the cars and their license plates could help the police find a hit-and-run driver.
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Things to Do After a Collision on Private Property
There are certain things you should always do at the scene of a car accident. You should always call for medical help if anyone got injured in the crash. You should also call the police and ask them to come to the scene.
Sometimes, police will say that they do not investigate or write accident reports for collisions that happen on private property, but that is not true. They cannot issue tickets for people who violate the rules of the road on private property, but they can investigate the accident, get the contact and insurance information of the drivers, take the statements of the drivers, and decide who caused the accident.
Injury claims arising from car accidents on private property can be complicated matters. The other driver might falsely claim that their insurance doesn’t have to pay your losses because the accident was on private property or they might try to pressure you to pay their damages even if they were at fault. We can handle your case and defend your rights.
Why You Do Not Need to Worry About Legal Fees After a Car Accident
You might think that it is too expensive to pay a lawyer to represent you after a car accident, but that is not the case. If you got hurt in a car accident, whether it happened on public streets or on private property like a commercial parking lot, an attorney would handle your personal injury case on a contingency fee basis.
This kind of fee arrangement means that you do not have to pay any upfront legal fees. The lawyer will wait until the end of the matter to get paid. The lawyer’s compensation will be a percentage of the insurance proceeds or jury award that you and the attorney agreed to at the beginning of the case. If you do not win, you do not have to pay anything.
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There Is a Deadline for Taking Legal Action for Your Losses
Georgia law does not give you much time to file a lawsuit so you can seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Negotiating with the driver or an insurance company does not count as filing a lawsuit. Once the deadline passes, the party who caused the collision will no longer have any legal liability to the people they hurt.
Under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for the harm you suffered. The same two-year deadline applies to a wrongful death case if your close relative died from an accident.
We Can Help You Pursue Compensation After a Car Accident on Private Property
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers help people who get injured because of the carelessness of others. We can help you pursue compensation for your losses from the party who caused the car accident, whether it happened on private property or on public streets.
We will be happy to evaluate your situation at no cost. Contact us as soon as possible.