If an accident happened in front of a department store that had no stop/yield signs or white crosswalk, can I sue it?

I was coming out of a store and I saw a car that was stopped in an a parking isle. I made eye contact and proceeded to walk in the blue crossings (not sure if that is considered a crosswalk). When I got to the middle the lady turned right and headed toward me and hit my body on my right side. I fell onto the hood of her car and then when she slammed on her breaks I fell off and landed on the left side of my body. I don’t think the parking lot was up to CA code and would like to see if I sue the store?

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question.

In order to see if you have a valid claim against the store owner, you would first check with your state’s department of transportation.  They will be able to assist you with the requirements are for that shopping mall area.  However, even if the law requires a stop sign or some other type of traffic signal to be present, it does not necessarily mean that the store owner is responsible.  The store owner may be renting the building for the store, and therefore, the store owner could be liable for this violation.  Furthermore, the landlord also not be liable because the streets department for the city should have made sure that all traffic patterns requiring traffic controls are compliant.

In these types of litigation, you would likely name the driver, the store owner, the building owner, and the city as defendants to your action.  However, if you are trying to save money without having to sue, you may want to contact all of the parties and discuss with them your injuries and they may want to settle. 

Also, if you have car insurance, depending on the state you live in, your own car insurance will cover your damages under this policy and also pursue further legal action to recover your expenses.   You could also contact your own personal injury attorney that could contact all of the would-be defendants and see if they can agree to a group settlement, which may be in your best interest


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