Who's at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident in South Carolina? (2024)

Parking lots are not spaces where you immediately think of getting into a car accident, but the reality is that these accidents are more common than people realize. What are the parking lot accident laws in South Carolina?

At the Maguire Law Firm, our Myrtle Beach car accident attorneys are experienced in parking lot collisions with vehicles and pedestrians and can help you maintain your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Let us help determine who’s at fault for your parking lot accident.

Common Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lots can be chaotic places, with vulnerable pedestrians walking around, and vehicles coming and going. These locations can result in various accidents if someone isn’t paying attention or driving recklessly.

Rear-end accidents

A common type of parking lot accident is rear-end accidents when a driver isn’t paying attention. These accidents can happen in parking lots if vehicles are lining up and one doesn’t stop in time.

Pedestrian accidents

A pedestrian can end up getting hit by a vehicle if the driver is going too fast or isn’t paying attention to what is in front of them.

Keep in mind that pedestrians usually have the right of way in parking lot crosswalks, so the driver will likely be at-fault.

Sideswipe accidents

Because parking lots can become quite crowded, sideswiping is a risk. This happens when one car strikes another on its side if it is driving by, pulling out, or pulling into a parking space. Sideswiping accidents are one of the more mild kinds of collisions since they usually only result in superficial damage.

Head-on collisions

If a driver is not paying attention in a parking lot, they could end up causing a head-on collision with another oncoming vehicle. An accident like this usually occurs when a vehicle is exiting the parking lot and doesn’t yield or pay attention to oncoming traffic. But it can also happen if the car is not staying in its correct lane and hits an oncoming vehicle in the parking lot.

South Carolina Parking Lot Laws

South Carolina has right-of-way procedures designed to keep people on the road safe and reduce the risk of accidents. Even with these laws, accidents still occur if drivers are not paying attention or driving recklessly.

All South Carolina residents should follow the right-of-way procedures, including watching and yielding to traffic and pedestrians when exiting the parking lot. You should also yield to vehicles in the access or feeder lanes since they will usually have the right of way. A general rule to follow is to always yield to pedestrians, especially if they are walking in pedestrian-designated areas.

To ensure you are following right-of-way laws, you should always pay attention to traffic arrows and signs that direct the flow of traffic. If you are ever unsure of who has the right of way, it is safest to yield to the other person.

Who is at Fault in a Parking Lot Accident?

Proving who is at-fault in a parking lot accident is difficult without a legal background. South Carolina parking lot accident laws depend on the situation since every accident is different. In most situations, fault will fall on the driver who acted negligently and broke right-of-way procedures.

For example, if you are pulling out of a parking space and another driver is distracted or speeding as they coast down a lane, and they hit your car, they would be at-fault. They would also be at-fault if they did not stick to their lane when driving in the parking lot or if they did not yield to pedestrians when the individuals on-foot had the right of way.

What to Do After a Parking Lot Accident

If you have gotten into a parking lot accident, you should follow many of the same steps as you would for any other auto accident. This includes making sure no one is injured and exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver.

If possible, you should also take photos of the scene of the accident and the damage to your vehicle. If you notice streetlight cameras pointed in the area of the collision, make a note of this since it may have filmed what happened.

You should call the police to file a report, and immediately contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you collect important evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault so you can potentially get compensation.

Hire a South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyer Today

When an accident happens in a parking lot, proving fault often comes down to deciding who had the right of way according to South Carolina law.

At the Maguire Law Firm, we can help you collect evidence to build your claim so that you have a better chance of proving who was at fault. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation online or call us directly at 843-894-3502.

Who's at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident in South Carolina? (2024)


Who's at Fault for a Parking Lot Accident in South Carolina? ›

South Carolina parking lot accident laws depend on the situation since every accident is different. In most situations, fault will fall on the driver who acted negligently and broke right-of-way procedures.

Who has the right of way in a parking lot in SC? ›

People driving in the primary lanes running through or around the parking lot generally have the right of way, according to Nolo. So, if you are trying to turn out of a parking lane into a through (or thoroughfare) lane, yield until it's safe to make your turn.

Is South Carolina an at fault state for car accidents? ›

Does South Carolina Have No-Fault Laws? No, South Carolina does not have the no-fault law in effect. Instead, it follows an at fault model with comparative negligence. This means that so long as you are under 50% responsible for your accident, you can file a claim against the driver that caused your accident.

Can you get compensation if the accident was your fault in South Carolina? ›

Law and Recovery in South Carolina Accidents

Under state law, if you are no more at fault than the other party in an auto accident, you can recover compensation for your injuries, or “damages”, from them. This is sometimes called a “51% rule” because a driver less than 51% at fault can recover.

Who is at fault in a rear end collision in South Carolina? ›

If you were hit from behind, the driver behind you is most likely responsible for the accident. The most obvious cases are when the accident occurs at a red light or stop sign. In this case, the driver behind you is usually not paying attention and fails to stop before hitting you in the rear.

Who has right of way around parked cars? ›

In practical terms, that means: If the parked cars are on your side of the road, then you should give way to oncoming traffic. If the parked cars are on the opposite side of the road, you have priority.

What is the right of way law in South Carolina? ›

"Right-of-way" is the right of one vehicle or pedestrian to proceed in a lawful manner in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian approaching under such circ*mstances of direction, speed and proximity as to give rise to danger of collision unless one grants precedence to the other.

Is the registered owner of a car liable for an accident in South Carolina? ›

A South Carolina injury victim must prove multiple factors are true to hold the vehicle's owner liable for the crash using the Negligent Entrustment statute. Those factors include: The entrusted driver was incompetent, inexperienced, impaired, or reckless.

Who is usually at fault in a car crash? ›

In most instances, any driver violating traffic law will be held largely responsible for a resulting car accident. If one of the drivers is issued a citation for speeding, running a light, or another violation, he or she will most likely be primarily at fault, and carry the heaviest burden of the resulting liability.

What happens if the person at fault in an accident has no insurance in South Carolina? ›

In fact, SC law requires that every auto insurance policy sold in our state includes uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Therefore, if you are injured by an uninsured driver, you may still receive compensation from the insurance company that insures either you or a family member.

What is the average settlement for a car accident in South Carolina? ›

What Is the Average Settlement for a South Carolina Car Accident? While each car accident claim is different, the average settlement amount ranges from $10,000 to $41,000,000. This depends on the type of injuries you sustain from your accident.

How long after an accident can you sue in South Carolina? ›

In South Carolina, you generally have three (3) years from the date of an automobile accident to file a lawsuit for injuries or damages. However, the deadline can be shorter or longer depending on different factors.

How long does an at fault accident stay on your record in South Carolina? ›

Typically, a car accident in South Carolina will stay on your insurance record for three years. That is three years of additional insurance costs after a car accident, often regardless of fault.

Is South Carolina a no fault state for car accidents? ›

Unlike so-called “no-fault” states, South Carolina uses a fault-based system for dealing with car accidents, meaning the at-fault driver themselves can be held legally liable for any costs you incur.

Why is the driver to the rear usually at fault in a rear-end collision? ›

For rear-end collisions, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is often presumed to be at fault. This presumption arises from the idea that a driver should maintain a safe following distance and be attentive enough to respond to sudden stops or changes in traffic flow.

Is brake checking illegal in South Carolina? ›

Brake checking is illegal in South Carolina. When it comes to rear-end collisions, many people think the driver in the rear is always held responsible, but that is not always the case. A driver who slams on their brakes for no reason other than to frighten a tailgating driver may be found at fault if a crash occurs.

How many feet is the right of way in South Carolina? ›

Roads without curb and gutter shall have a minimum right-of-way of sixty-six (66) feet, although curb and gutters shall be installed on all paved roads unless the county engineer determines that another system is acceptable.

When exiting a parking spot, blank has the right of way.? ›

Drivers pulling out must yield right of way. If someone is pulling out of a parking spot, they must yield right of way to vehicles driving by and to pedestrians. If they cause a pedestrian accident or a car accident while backing out, they will almost always be responsible and liable.

Who has the right away when a car is backing up? ›

When a driver backs up into a lane of traffic, another driver occupying an active lane of traffic behind them has the right of way. Therefore, reversing drivers must yield to passing traffic and only continue backing up when the way is clear.

When exiting a parking spot, who has the right of way in Quizlet? ›

For drivers exiting a parking spot, always yield to the cars moving in the lot. It doesn't matter if the lane is the main lane or a feeder lane.

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