In Virginia, do the statutory rules of the road apply to the operation of cars in privately owned parking lots?

Auto Accident in Parking Lot Virginia Beach

The below information was written by our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach.

No. The Virginia Supreme Court has written that in lawsuits involving car accidents in privately owned parking lots and on other privately owned premises, governmental regulations or rules of the road have no application. Instead, statutory rules of the road are applicable only to the operation of cars and other motor vehicles on public streets and highways.

However, a person operating a car or other motor vehicle in a parking lot does have a duty to exercise ordinary care in view of the circumstances, meaning the degree of care that an ordinary careful person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. The duty to exercise ordinary care includes, but is not limited to, the duty to maintain a proper lookout, which means the driver must use ordinary care to look in all directions for vehicles, persons, and conditions that would affect his or her driving, to see what a reasonable person would see, and to react as a reasonable person would to avoid a collision. Furthermore, according to the Virginia Supreme Court, statutory rules as to the operation of cars and other motor vehicles on public roads may indicate a desirable degree of care in the operation of such vehicles in privately owned parking lots and other privately owned premises, even though the statutory rules of the road are not binding.

Whether the driver of a car or other motor vehicle in a parking lot has violated his or her duty to exercise ordinary care in view of the circumstances is specific to the facts of the individual case. A person hurt in a parking lot accident, either as an occupant of a vehicle or as a pedestrian, should consult one of our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach regarding his or her potential personal injury claim.  We can advise the injured person as to the applicable law governing the accident, the value of the personal injury claim, the proper approach for making a claim to the insurance company, and the proper handling of a personal injury lawsuit, if the filing of a lawsuit becomes necessary.

Waiting can hurt your case. To find out how our personal injury lawyers in Virginia Beach can help you, please contact us at (757) 486-2700.

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