What to do if you are in a car accident in a shopping mall parking lot or garage in the Tampa / St. Pete / Clearwater region
In Tampa, there are many malls that are busy as ever with the holiday season. The parking lot can be a very dangerous place for both car accidents and pedestrian accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in 2015 there were 374,342 accidents in Florida. Parking lots can be extremely dangerous, according to the National Safety Council found that on average at least 60,000 are injured and 500 or more die in the 50,000 plus accidents in parking lots and garages every year. An accident that may be avoided in a regular parking lot, may not be so easily avoided near a busy Tampa mall. So what do you do if you are involved in an accident near or in the mall’s parking lot?
Some Major Malls in the Tampa / St. Pete / Clearwater Region are:
- International Plaza and Bay Street
- WestShore Plaza
- Hyde Park Village
- Westfield Citrus Park
- Tyrone Square Mall
- Sundial St. Pete
- Westfield Countryside
- Clearwater Mall
You should take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle involved in the accident. Another great idea is to document the scene of the accident by taking photos of the area as well. Malls in Tampa are constantly busy, so looking around for witnesses to the accident could also be very helpful. Make note of the time and location of the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other driver involved in the accident. But, please be sure to be careful with your statement. Although it is important to notify your insurance company about the accident, it is not recommended to provide a statement to the insurance company without contacting an attorney first. A big issue / challenge in parking lot accidents is proving liability. Take note if you are able to tell if the other driver was distracted by anything such as texting or using a cell phone at the time of the accident. If the other driver involved in the accident left the scene, please try to get any information on the vehicle or driver from witnesses or from security camera footage. Only report the accident initially and give your statement at a later time after consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Anyone involved in a shopping mall car accident should consult with an attorney that has substantial experience and offers a free consultation.
Call your lawyer before providing the insurance agency with a statement. You can and should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. However, ask them to allow you to call them back for any recorded statement they may want to take. If you have had a recent automobile accident near a Tampa Bay area mall, feel free to call auto accident attorneys at Franco Law – (813) 873-0180 for a no-obligation consultation regarding your legal rights and options.
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