Parking Lot Accidents: Dos and Don’ts

8 Min Read

Parking lot collisions are virtually unavoidable, regardless of your driving skills and expertise. While most drivers consider them to be minor accidents, the incident gets into your driving record. Eventually, you end up paying more premiums on renewal.

Drivers dread the scattered movement of shopping carts, other cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and other objects in parking zones. This deadly amalgamation makes parking lot accidents inevitable.

Now that you are wondering about increased insurance premiums make sure to consult a broker like Surex to keep the policies affordable. Check out manageable quotes from different car insurers at if you’re not happy with your increased premium.

What to do if you are involved in a parking lot collision

Although most parking lot accidents seem to be of low impact, they can be equally dangerous in terms of damages and injuries. Some drivers believe that the accident doesn’t take place on a public road but on private property, so they should react differently.

However, you need to deal with parking lot collisions in the same way you treat other accidents involving your vehicle.

Call for help instantly if any of the parties involved in the accident sustained injuries. The parking lot accident rules in Alberta and Ontario state that you need to file an accident report in case the damage exceeds $2,000. Next, notify your car insurance company and file the claim.

Failing to report a parking lot collision will result in the driver receiving a ticket. You would end up paying a fine heftier than a parking ticket. Besides, the other driver can file an insurance claim to determine that you were at fault. In these situations, your insurance company would increase your rates.

Determining the fault in a parking lot accident

When it comes to parking lot collisions, it might be challenging to identify the driver at fault. Compared to drivers leaving the parking zone, cars moving into the lot enjoy a privilege. Insurance companies consider this as a crucial aspect when they determine fault.

While a single driver may be at fault in a parking lot collision, both of them may share the responsibility in other cases.

Insurance companies generally investigate parking lot accidents case-by-case. Have a look at the common types of accidents in parking lots.

Case 1

If both drivers hit each other from opposite directions, they share the fault by 50% each.

Case 2

At times, accidents happen when the driver enters the traffic lane after leaving the parking zone. Both the drivers would share the blame since their cars were in motion. If you are the driver moving the car away from the parking lot, you will bear 75% of the blame. The other driver would share 25% of the responsibility.

Case 3

If a driver hits a car while backing out, both parties share the responsibility equally. The driver who was backing up isn’t entitled to enjoy the right of way. So, they should wait until the path’s clear.

Case 4

At times, two vehicles collide while competing for a parking spot. In this case, both drivers were in motion. One of these drivers should have taken a left turn by crossing the traffic, while the driver who turned right didn’t have to wait. So, the left-turning car bears most of the blame as the driver should have considered the incoming traffic. Insurers would also check the speed of each car and the distance between the vehicles in the parking zone.

Case 5

You would be completely at fault if you rear-ended a parked car in a parking zone. Sometimes, the vehicle in front comes to an abrupt halt, resulting in a rear-end collision. However, the vehicle in motion would be responsible, as its driver should have maintained a safe distance to prevent a collision.

Case 6

Also, you would be entirely at fault if you hit a cyclist, pedestrian, curb, median, traffic sign, or shopping cart in a parking lot.

How to deal with hit-and-run cases in parking lots?

A terrible way to drain your finances is to be a victim of a hit-and-run accident in a parking lot. You will be bearing the repair costs if you fail to identify the offending vehicle. Let’s take a look at both cases.

1.    Another driver hits your car

If another car hits your vehicle in a parking zone, your collision insurance coverage will compensate for the losses. However, you need to fork out a deductible, which mostly ranges between $500 and $1,000. If there’s minor damage, consider repairing your car out of your pocket.

At times, insurance companies consider these cases under uninsured auto insurance claims. If they assume that the offending driver didn’t have an insurance policy, you need not pay the deductible. If DCPD exists in your province and your insurer can reconstruct the case by checking the CCTV footage, they would compensate for your loss.

2.    Your car hits another vehicle

Fleeing after hitting another car with your vehicle wouldn’t be a good idea. So, leave a note in the other car with your contact details. Otherwise, you can face a charge due under the ‘failed to remain’ at the spot clauses.

The penalty for leaving the accident spot ranges between $400 and $2,000. Besides, your driving record would look tarnished with seven demerit points. In some instances, your license can be suspended, and your insurer would increase your premiums.


It’s unfortunate to be involved in an accident in a parking lot. If you suspect a rise in insurance premiums after being involved in one, talk to your insurance brokers.

A reputed professional at an online insurance brokerage can evaluate your driving record and recommend affordable insurance policies. At the time of renewal, the experts might advise you to switch to a different policy. This ensures that you won’t be paying a higher premium to your existing insurer.

Most car owners in Canada work closely with established insurance brokers. This is a great way to keep track of the best offers and discounts. Also, the brokers can help you compare quotes from multiple automobile insurers and recommend the best policies.

Adhering to our prescribed guidelines will help you comply with the legalities and stay out of trouble after a parking lot collision.

Share This Article