Car park accidents are a common occurrence in the UK. Most accidents are relatively minor, but sometimes they can lead to severe injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Slips, trips and falls, collisions or criminal assaults are common causes of accidents in a car park. The liable person might be another driver, a pedestrian or a car park operator.
You can make a car park accident claim for any injuries you sustained, no matter how minor. The compensation award could cover physical pain and suffering, damage to your vehicle or other personal items and any related financial losses.
To find out if you have a valid car accident claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. They can help you prepare all the necessary documents and answer any questions you might have.
Can I make a car park accident claim?
You should be eligible to make a car park accident claim if you suffered an injury in the last three years and:
- another party owed you a duty of care
- they breached their duty by acting negligently
- their negligence caused your injury
Proving negligence and liability in personal injury claims can be a complex process. You will need relevant evidence in the form of photographs, witness statements, medical records and receipts for financial losses.
A personal injury claims solicitor can advise you on how to proceed with your claim. If they think you have a valid claim, they will also offer you a no win no fee agreement.
Making a no win no fee agreement with your solicitor means that you will have to pay no legal charges or solicitor fees if your car park accident claim is unsuccessful.
Your solicitor will take out an After the Event insurance policy on your behalf before starting the claim. This will cover all the claiming costs, and you will not face any hidden charges.
If your car park injury claim is successful, the majority of legal costs incurred will be covered by the defendant. You will only have to pay a success fee to your solicitor. The success fee cannot exceed 25% of the compensation amount, and you will agree upon it before starting the claim.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a no win no fee car park claim and answer any questions you may have.
Who might be liable for a car park accident?
If you want to make a claim for an accident in a car park, proving negligence is essential for receiving compensation. Depending on the type of accident you had, an individual or multiple parties might hold responsibility:
All drivers have a duty of care towards themselves, car passengers and other road users. When a driver causes a car park accident due to negligence, you are entitled to make a claim against them. If they hit you because of driving above the speed limit or failing to see you while reversing, they may have to pay you compensation for any damages you sustained.
Passengers also have a duty of care to act appropriately while in a vehicle. If they cause an accident by blocking the driver’s view, opening the door or creating a distraction, their actions could lead to shared negligence in the event of an accident.
Pedestrians have a duty of ordinary care towards themselves and other road users. If a pedestrian stepped right in front of a vehicle in a car park, causing an accident, it might be possible to make a car park accident claim against them.
Car park owners or operators
According to the Health and Safety Executive, car park owners and operators have the legal duty to keep the premises safe for all employees and visitors. If you suffered an accident due to faulty equipment, poor maintenance or slippery conditions, you could make a car park accident claim. The car park owner or operator might be liable for:
- slips, trips and falls due to uneven surfaces, spillages, potholes, unmarked steps, poorly lit surfaces
- damage caused to you or your vehicle by a malfunctioning barrier
- failure to properly salt and grit icy roads and pavements during winter
- poorly maintained pillars, handrails or equipment causing you to get cut or injured
- getting an injury because of debris or broken glass left in the car park
Unfortunately, some car parks are dangerous places to be. If there is no security and everybody has access to the area, you can easily fall victim to a violent or sexual assault. You can make a compensation claim against the attacker through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Common injuries sustained in car park accidents
Depending on what kind of accident you had in the car park, you could suffer minor to very severe injuries:
Cuts, bruises or lacerations
These skin injuries may be superficial minor annoyances that do not need much treatment, while others can be deep and life-threatening without prompt intervention.
Soft tissue injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons
Common soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains and contusions. These may cause pain, bruising, swelling and loss of function. Without proper treatment, the damage could worsen and require serious intervention like surgery.
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a forceful and sudden movement of the head. The symptoms usually develop within a few days and include pain and stiffness, headaches, fatigue or other neurological problems like blurred vision, memory problems and difficulty concentrating. It usually gets better within a few months, but severe whiplash can cause permanent damage.
Back injuries, especially in the lower back region, are fairly common. They might cause varying degrees of pain, from moderate to incapacitating. Signs of a back injury include pain and tenderness, stiffness or difficulty moving, muscle spasm, difficulty standing up straight and leg pain.
Symptoms like difficulty breathing, fever, difficulty urinating or passing stool, numbness, pins and needles or paralysis may indicate a severe back injury that needs immediate medical attention.
Bone fractures are painful injuries that might need several weeks to several months to heal. Most often, they are caused by severe trauma due to falls or vehicle collisions. Usually, fractures are very painful and may prevent you from moving the injured body part. Other symptoms include a noticeable and unusual bump, swelling, tenderness or bruising.
Head injuries range from mild bumps and bruises to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Moderate traumatic brain injuries may cause headache, nausea and vomiting, memory and concentration problems, depression and anxiety, sleep disturbances or loss of consciousness. The majority of mild TBI patients recover within three months from the injury.
Severe brain injuries include seizures, balance or coordination problems, memory loss, confusion, loss of muscle control, coordination or consciousness, coma. Severe TBI can have drastic lifelong consequences like entering a vegetative state, communication problems, behavioural and emotional changes, paralysis.
You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms of a brain injury, particularly loss of consciousness, confusion and disorientation.
If you were involved in a car park accident, it is essential to visit a doctor, even for a minor injury that you might be tempted to overlook. This will prevent your condition from worsening and make it much easier to start a compensation claim.
What to do if you are injured in a car park accident
If you were involved in a car park accident, there are some essential steps that you should take in order to gather relevant proof that will make your claim much easier:
- Call an ambulance or visit a doctor, depending on how severe your injuries are. This ensures you will receive proper treatment, and your condition will not worsen. Your medical record will serve as a basis for claiming the compensation you deserve.
- Photographing the accident scene before the vehicles get moved will provide an insight into how the accident occurred and will help assess liability.
- If you collided with another vehicle, get the driver’s details. Ask for their name, telephone number, licence plate and insurance details.
- Photograph any visible injuries to support your medical records and illustrate their severity.
- Ask any witnesses for a written statement of what they saw and their contact details. If your claim goes to court (which is unlikely in most cases), their testimony might prove valuable.
- If any CCTV cameras or dash cams captured the accident, ask for a copy of the footage. If you can’t obtain the video due to data protection, your solicitor might be able to act on your behalf.
- Report the accident to the car park operator and make sure to ask for a copy of the accident report book. The report can be used to confirm the date, time and location of the accident.
- Report the accident to the police within 24 hours to avoid a subsequent liability dispute. The other party might also make a claim against you if they don’t feel responsible for the accident.
- Write down the details of the accident, including the date, time, location, who was present and how the events unfolded.
- Keep the receipts of all the expenses you incurred because of the car park accident, including travel costs, private care, repairs to your vehicle, care costs.
- If you were severely injured and can’t gather proof at the accident scene, don’t worry. Your solicitor will assist you in gathering relevant evidence to build a strong car park accident claim.
As part of your no win no fee claim, they will also arrange a free visit with a licensed doctor to establish the extent of your injuries and your recovery prospects. The compensation award depends on how severely you were hurt and how this affected your life.
To start your claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. They can let you know if you may be eligible for compensation and can answer any questions you may have.
Hit and run car park accidents
If a driver hits you in a car park and fails to identify themselves, committing a hit and run offence, that does not mean you cannot make a car park accident claim.
According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, hit and run accidents are against the law in the UK and are considered a criminal act. If an accident occurs in a car park, both parties must stop and exchange details, just as in other road traffic accidents.
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident in a car park, the first thing you should do is seek medical help. For severe injuries, you should immediately call 999 or your nearest emergency service. For mild injuries, you can call 111, attend a walk-in centre or visit your GP as soon as possible.
Once you have received medical care for your injuries, you should report the hit and run accident to the police. They will assist you in finding the driver that injured you. If you took note of the colour, model or registration number of their vehicle, this could speed things up.
If you do not require immediate medical assistance, you should:
- take photographs of your injuries and any damage to your vehicle or other personal items
- get the contact details of any witness that might have seen the accident occur
- see if any CCTV cameras might have recorded the hit and run and ask for a copy of the footage
- call the police and wait for their arrival
You can claim a hit and run accident in a car park through the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). After providing them with the details of what happened and any available evidence, they will investigate your case.
If the other driver cannot be found or does not have insurance, the MIB will pay you compensation, just like a regular insurance company. Your injury solicitor will take care of this for you.
How long do I have to claim for an accident in a car park?
Usually, you will have three years from the day of an accident to make a car park accident claim. This is known as the claim limitation date, after which your case becomes statute-barred, and you can no longer claim compensation.
The three-year limitation date does not apply to every situation. You might have more or less time to start a claim, depending on certain circumstances like:
- If the victim of an accident in a car park is a child, the three-year countdown gets suspended while still under 18 years old. A parent, guardian or another person acting as a litigation friend can make a car park injury claim on their behalf at any point. After turning 18, they can pursue a claim on their own for another three years.
- If you learn of your injury later after the accident, you can make a claim up to three years from the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
- A litigation friend can claim car park accident compensation on behalf of a victim that lacks mental capacity without being bound by a limitation date. A person could lack mental capacity due to a brain injury or mental illness. The three-year countdown begins if their disability ends.
- If you suffered an injury after an assault in a car park, you could make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years from the attack.
- You are entitled to make a compensation claim after a car park accident that happened abroad, but the limitation date is subject to the foreign country’s laws.
- A close family member could make a claim if a loved one suffered a fatal injury in a car park accident within three years after their passing.
The limitation date is the last day you can start legal proceedings if you want to make a car park accident claim. Preparing all the legal documents, speaking to witnesses and gathering the required evidence might take a substantial amount of time.
Therefore, you should always contact a solicitor as soon as possible after an accident. They will let you know what limitation date might apply to your case and advise on how to proceed with your claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a car park injury?
The amount of compensation you might be able to claim after a car park accident depends on the injuries you sustained and how they affected your life. Your solicitor will consider how the accident has affected you personally and financially and calculate a suitable compensation amount.
If the other party accepts responsibility and agrees to your compensation request, your claim will settle out of court. Otherwise, you will have to go before a judge who will assess liability based on the available evidence and decide what compensation you are entitled to receive.
After an accident in a car park, you could claim for:
Compensation for medical costs covers any treatments, medicine, rehabilitation or surgery you might have required due to your injuries. Although the National Health Service treatment is free, some injuries might require private visits.
The claim could include any expenses you incurred for going to the hospital, physiotherapy, counselling or solicitor appointments. You could also receive compensation for other travel arrangements you had to make while recovering from your injuries.
You might require professional care for a while after your accident. You can claim compensation even if your carer is a friend or family member.
Loss of income
As part of your claim, you can be reimbursed for any wages you lost if you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries. If your injuries have long-time implications that won’t allow you to return to work, the compensation might cover any future lost income.
You can recover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle or any personal items damaged in the accident.
General damages cover the physical and mental suffering caused by your injuries and loss of amenity. The compensation award depends on the type of injuries you incurred and their severity.
According to the Judicial College guidelines, you could receive the following amounts for general damages:
- Up to £2,300 for minor neck injuries with complete recovery within three months
- Up to £139,210 for a severe neck injury causing nerve damage, chronic pain and or even paralysis
- £12,900 and £23,460 for whiplash injuries causing mobility reduction and recurring pain
- Up to £151,070 for severe back injuries with ongoing pain and nerve damage
- £3,310 – £56,180 for a wrist injury
- Up to £32,210 for finger injuries, with the maximum amount awarded for amputation of one or more fingers
- £2,070 – £379,100 for minor to severe head injuries
- Up to £90,290 for a knee injury with permanent loss of function
- Up to £119,210 for a leg injury whit some form of permanent disability
- £6,190 – £122,860 for arm injuries ranging from bruising and simple fractures to constant pain and disability
If you contact a professional solicitor, they can give you a more accurate estimate of your compensation prospects once they have assessed your claim. You can speak to a legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.