Car park accidents who's at fault uk (2022)

Some common causes of car park accidents

Vehicles in car parks can be involved in a number of accidents, from scrapes and dents to more serious collisions.

There are a number of factors which can contribute to accidents in a car park, often associated with the driver’s abilities, conditions or driving behaviours.

We’ve broken down these behaviours & factors that contribute to car park accidents:

Reckless driving
Reckless driving is a term used to describe a range of dangerous or negligent behaviours behind the wheel.

It can encompass:

  • Speeding

  • Tailgating

  • Weaving

  • Running stop signs

  • and more

Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and fatalities on our roads and car parks. It is taken very seriously by the law.

If someone is driving recklessly through or within a car park, they are more likely to cause an accident.

Reckless driving is not always easy to define. Generally speaking, it is considered a traffic violation if the driver’s actions create “a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm to persons or property”.

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There are many reasons why someone might drive recklessly through a car park.
They may be trying to:

  • Save time

  • They may be impatient

  • Or that person may just be a reckless driver in general.

Car park accidents who's at fault uk (1)

If someone has collided with your car in a car park from driving recklessly, it’s likely that you will be able to make a non-fault claim against them to cover the damages and losses.

Call our Non-fault New Accident Claims team now on 0330 128 1407 or click here to begin a non-fault accident claim with Auto Claims Assist.

Distracted driving
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving.

Distracted driving is dangerous because it reduces a driver’s reaction time and ability to focus on their surroundings. Distracted driving causes thousands of car accidents each year and results in hundreds of needless deaths.

Distracted driving is a serious problem that has only grown more prevalent over time with the increasing number of high-tech distractions available to us.

There are a number of reasons why someone might drive distracted through a car park

Many people believe that they can multitask and safely handle several tasks at once. However, this is not the case when it comes to driving, especially in a car park. Even if you are only taking your eyes off the route for a few seconds to check your phone or take a drink, this is enough time for a serious accident to occur.

In the UK, our laws restrict the use of mobile phones while driving, but even these measures are not enough to prevent all distracted driving accidents.

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Many people engage in other activities while driving that can be distracting, such as eating or putting on makeup. These types of distractions can also significantly reduce your reaction time and ability to focus on the road.

Some drivers may drive distracted in a car park because they feel rushed or pressured to get somewhere quickly. However, it is important to remember that safety should always come first when behind the wheel.

All of these types of distractions are likely common issues when driving through a car park:

  • People might be running late and are setting off quickly

  • To speed things up, they may continue their daily routine in the car while exiting a car park

  • They may be bored or impatient and decide to use their mobile phone in a car park

The pace of a car park is much slower than our standard roads, therefore people may believe that allowing that distraction is more acceptable as a result.

The reality couldn’t be further from the truth: Car parks can be busy, small, versatile places that need careful navigation and full alertness to the ever-changing route ahead.

Some tips for avoiding distractions while driving include:

  • Turning off mobile phones

  • Seeking out quiet car parks that are not as busy or crowded

  • Take regular breaks to give yourself time to regroup and refocus on the task at hand

Not yielding/giving right of way
Giving the right of way on the road means yielding to someone else who is legally allowed to go first at an intersection or in any other type of situation on the road.

When people are driving, they should always be aware of their surroundings and follow the laws and rules that keep everyone safe on the road.

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It’s a critical and dangerous infraction to fail to yield when driving within any car park.

Any drivers and pedestrians with the right of way should be allowed to go ahead before a vehicle’s progression continues that doesn’t have the right of way. Ultimately, giving the right of way on the road is all about being responsible, courteous, and aware of what is happening.

There are a few possible reasons why someone might not give the right of way in a car park.

  • Maybe they’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the other person to move

  • Or they could be trying to get ahead in the parking lot by cutting in front of others

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that all car parks operate under the same set of rules, and it’s important that drivers receive their right of way.

Some car parks may also have designated lanes that drivers should follow when entering or exiting.

When using a multilane car park, it’s especially important that drivers respect these lanes and follow them closely. This not only helps to keep the traffic flowing smoothly but also helps to prevent accidents.

The right of way incidents are very common in car parks, especially when distraction or reckless driving is also a factor. It’s always best for drivers to proceed on the side of caution, giving way to the other driver.

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Parking Illegally
Parking illegally in a car park generally means parking without a permit or parking in a space that is not designated for parking.

On a standard day, this might result in a parking fine or the driver’s car being towed, but sometimes it might cause a car accident.

Most people wouldn’t think of parking illegally as a serious issue, but it can lead to some dangerous accidents.

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When drivers park in unauthorised areas, this often creates issues for other car park users.

Car parks often have narrow lanes and tight turns. It doesn’t take much for an illegally parked vehicle to intercept the, what should be, correct flow of traffic.

Understanding fault when a collision occurs with an illegally parked car can be complex. The determination will be made from a detailed assessment of how the collision occurred.

If you have had a collision with an illegally parked car, ensure to collect as much detail as possible and be sure to draw a diagram of how the illegally parked car was the cause of the accident.

The conditions of the car park
If the car park has poor lighting, poorly maintained surfaces and cars parked too close to each other, this can lead to accidents of vehicles.

Car accidents in car parks are most often caused by human error, but the car park itself might have contributing factors to the accident.

If the car park is poorly lit and this led to your accident, then the car park could be held liable. This is because the car park owner has a responsibility to maintain safe and well-lit conditions for people visiting the premises.

Another factor that can contribute to accidents in car parks is poorly maintained surfaces. If a car park has:

  • Dangerous potholes

  • Uneven surfaces

  • Cracks in the pavement

  • Blind spots

  • Poorly highlighted right of way

Then these conditions can lead to accidents.

FAQs

Car park accidents who's at fault uk? ›

In the UK, the law states that the driver of the moving vehicle, who hits the parked car, is responsible for the accident that occurs. In other words, if your car is parked legally in a car park space and another driver hits your car, they will be held liable for the damages.

Who is at fault if you hit a parked car UK? ›

If you hit a car parked in a fire lane or you hit a double-parked car, you, the driver, are probably still 100% at fault. Deciding who is at fault when hitting an illegally parked car is less clear when the reason it was illegal to park in a particular location was because it is difficult to see a parked car there.

Who is liable in a car park accident? ›

Legally, car park operators are only liable for damage or loss that has been caused by the negligence of the company or its staff, and car owners need to be able to prove this. Another issue is that the operators can have restrictive terms and conditions regarding liability.

What happens if I crash in a car park? ›

Stay and wait for the owner of the car to come back, even if the damage is minor. Speaking to the owner directly will give you a chance to discuss with them what action they want to take, and could avoid the situation going through your insurance company.

Can you claim if someone hits your car in a car park? ›

Whether you can catch the culprit or not, you should call the police. Hit and runs are against the law, so you need to record the crime. The police might also be able to help you reach the other motorist, so they could help you get the compensation you need.

What happens if you hit a parked car UK? ›

Causing damage to a car and failing to stop can result in a prosecution for careless driving, failing to stop, and failing to report an incident. Result: a hefty fine and between five and 10 points on your licence.

Do you have to report a minor car accident to police UK? ›

You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours if you do not give your details at the time of the accident. You must also report the accident to your insurance company, even if you're not planning to make a claim.

Is the reversing driver always at fault UK? ›

Since the car backing up was moving in reverse at the time of the crash, it will usually be at fault in the accident. On the other hand, the car moving forward has the right of way. That car usually will not be at fault unless there is evidence that the driver was either not paying attention or was speeding.

What can you do if someone damages your parked car? ›

Contact your Insurance

It is important to remember that if your car was parked legally, the third party is automatically at fault regardless of the circumstances. On the other hand, if you haven't been able to get a hold of the third party you may have to claim against your own insurance or fund the repairs yourself.

Does car insurance cover you in a car park? ›

Whilst most drivers will claim against their car insurance in the event of a car park accident, you may find yourself subject to a claim if someone is injured, or if their property is stolen or damaged.

Can you request CCTV footage from a car park? ›

You're entitled to have access to CCTV that contains your image. And you should be able to see it within one calendar month of requesting it. BUT you can't request CCTV footage of someone else. And that includes whoever bumped their car into yours.

Does car insurance cover damage on private property UK? ›

UK law only requires insurance for driving 'on a road or other public place'. This means that motor accidents that occur on private land will not be covered by motor insurance.

Will my insurance go up if someone hits me UK? ›

The short answer unfortunately is yes. Regardless of whose fault it was, making a claim will almost always lead to an increase in your car insurance premium.

Do I need to report a minor car accident to the police? ›

You don't need to leave your insurance details unless someone is injured, but it can speed up the claims process if you do. If you didn't exchange details at the scene, you should report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

How long do police call you after hit and run UK? ›

It could take hours if there's enough evidence, or it could take days, weeks, or even months depending on what information they have about the person who fled the scene. When you report the accident to the police, you can expect them to keep in touch with you.

How much will my insurance go up with an at fault accident UK? ›

In the UK, for an at-fault accident involving bodily injury, your rates could increase by as much as 20% to 40%.

Can you go to jail for hitting someone with a car UK? ›

The typical answer here is 'yes'. If you are charged with careless or dangerous driving that has either killed or seriously injured a pedestrian, there is every chance that you could be facing time in prison. In some cases, motorists can also be given jail time for failing to stop and report an incident.

How long can police charge you after accident UK? ›

All Summary Only offences (for example Section 3 and simple speeding offences) must be charged or summoned within a 6-month period of the incident that is the subject of the complaint. Once this 6-month period has elapsed, then no summary offence can be charged. Indictable only offences have no such time limit.

What happens if you don't report an accident within 24 hours UK? ›

After the 24-hour period in which accidents can be reported has elapsed, the police may arrest a driver who can be interviewed as a suspect and charged on this basis. Both the offences of failing to stop and failing to report can be charged at the same time.

What is the penalty for not reporting an accident? ›

However, failure to stop & failure to report an accident can involve a prison sentence of up to six months. Imprisonment would normally only be imposed if you failed to stop & someone was severely injured during the accident.

Do police investigate minor hit and runs UK? ›

If the accident is one where there is serious injury/damage, then the police will aim to prosecute in every case. If there is only minor damage to a vehicle, this will more than likely be left to the insurance companies to ascertain liability.

Who has right of way when reversing out of a parking space UK? ›

Drivers turning left or right from a thoroughfare into a feeder lane or other roadway must yield the right-of-way to traffic approaching from the opposite direction as well as cyclists and pedestrians. Vehicles driving through a feeder lane have the right-of-way over vehicles exiting a parking space.

What happens when two people back into each other in a parking lot? ›

Two Cars Back into Each Other (Both Backing Up)

You check your mirrors to make sure it's all-clear and start backing out. Meanwhile, the car in your blind spot was attempting to reverse at the same time you were. Since both vehicles were moving, both drivers will take responsibility for the accident.

Whose fault is it if you reverse into someone? ›

Generally, in a rear-end collision, the driver who drove into the back of the other car is held liable for the accident. This is because, according to the highway code, you should always maintain the correct stopping distance based on your speed, see infographic for guidance.

What to do if you scratch a parked car UK? ›

Report the incident

According to the Road Traffic Act, you need to report an accident to the police within 24 hours. Don't call 999, as they only deal with emergencies. Instead dial 101, the non-emergency police number.

Can you claim if someone scratches your car? ›

You can always file a claim on your car, but you'll need an assessment by a claims adjuster to attribute the cause of the damage. If it's a small scratch, you might not even want to opt for an insurance claim. This could raise your deductible and cost you more in the long run.

Do I pay excess if not at fault? ›

Paying the excess when it's not your fault

If the other driver has admitted fault and has already told their insurer, your excess might be waived. But usually you'll have to pay it – so make sure you can afford it. When your insurer is certain you're not at fault, you'll get it back.

Do you need insurance in a private car park? ›

There are a number of reasons that you need car park insurance for a private car park. Although most car park collisions are handled by the driver's car insurance, any damage caused to the vehicle by the land and its features could become your responsibility.

What is classed as a secure public car park? ›

Secured Parking should be interpreted by most as either being enclosed within walls and locked – or having security guards on permanent surveillance to protect the vehicles in an enclosed area. Secured parking means that there are measures in place to create a safe environment.

Can police recover deleted CCTV footage? ›

The answer is no. Though CCTV deletion is manual, certain conditions make the CCTV videos go away from their destinations. Such as: Your storage device is making room for new footages.

Do insurance companies look at CCTV? ›

Absolutely! It is the insurance adjuster's job to find evidence to deny or minimize claims. The adjuster will explore every avenue available in order to do that with your claim.

How do I get my CCTV footage out of my car accident UK? ›

You need to make a request to the owner of the CCTV system. You can do this either in writing or verbally. The owner's details are usually written on a sign attached to the camera, unless the owner is obvious (like a shop). Tell them you're requesting information held about you under data protection law.

What happens if you have a car accident on private land? ›

ACCIDENTS ON PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PROPERTY

Car accidents that occur on public streets don't hold the state liable to the parties involved. But when it occurs on private property, the owner of the property may share some liability.

Can you make a car insurance claim on private property? ›

They can, however, document the scene and provide a much needed police report of the incident. Most insurance companies are reluctant to pay on a claim, even if it occurred on private property, without a police report. You should also contact the owner of the property and alert them to the accident as soon as possible.

Is my car insurance valid on private land? ›

In line with Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE), it is now a legal requirement for the registered keeper of a vehicle to insure it even if it is not being used and/or is parked on private land.

Do I need to tell my insurance if someone hits me? ›

Yes. You need to declare all accidents that you're involved in, regardless of who or what was at fault. Almost every insurance provider will have a clause in their policy requiring you to declare any incidents you've been involved in while driving in the past 5 years.

Do you lose no claims if someone hits you? ›

A no claims bonus (NCB), or more correctly a no claims discount, is awarded if you don't claim in the latest policy year. Even if you have an accident that wasn't your fault – you're hit by an uninsured driver, or your car gets stolen – you could lose your NCB, and your premium could even go up at renewal.

Is it worth claiming on car insurance for a dent UK? ›

In a nutshell, small dents/scratches on your car's surface does not require a car insurance claim. In fact, it is best to refrain from raising a claim in such a scenario, as you may otherwise lose a lot of money.

What happens if you don't call the police after an accident? ›

If you do not call the police after an accident in situations where there has been an injury or death, you may face fines, a license suspension, or even jail time. It is always best to report the accident and let the police make the determination as to whether a police report is needed.

How do police investigate a car accident? ›

Crash investigation officers can photograph, video and measure the crash location, at the time of the crash and sometimes later too. They record things like vehicle positions in the crash, skid marks on the road, and damage to objects, such as bollards.

How long do you have to report a car accident? ›

After being involved in a car accident, you should report it to your car insurance provider as soon as you can. Many insurers specify that you need to inform them about an accident within 24 hours of the incident.

Do I need to report a minor car accident to the police? ›

You don't need to leave your insurance details unless someone is injured, but it can speed up the claims process if you do. If you didn't exchange details at the scene, you should report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

How is fault determined in a car accident UK? ›

For every car accident that takes place on UK's roads, there is always one driver mainly at fault – however, making a driver admit liability is not always straight forward. Deciding who is at fault after a road traffic accident is the determining factor for which party is responsible for expensing the damage repairs.

How much will my insurance go up with an at fault accident UK? ›

In the UK, for an at-fault accident involving bodily injury, your rates could increase by as much as 20% to 40%.

Can you go to jail for hitting someone with a car UK? ›

The typical answer here is 'yes'. If you are charged with careless or dangerous driving that has either killed or seriously injured a pedestrian, there is every chance that you could be facing time in prison. In some cases, motorists can also be given jail time for failing to stop and report an incident.

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