Understanding the Essential Difference between Public and Private Property Accidents

So you are done shopping, walk out the store and right to the parking lot, get in the car, and you bump into another car that is looking for a space to park. Of course this is not something fun to face; the two of you would even get into a fight over who is to blame about this accident. Things get heated and arguments seem to have hit a roadblock. And then you grab your phone, planning on calling the police to put an end to all this kerfuffle. And the other guy also does the same because, well, who would not want to be backed by a policeman upon facing this kind of dispute, right? But before you really get in touch with the law enforcers, there is one thing that you need to know about this accident: the police cannot help you. You know why? Well, it is due to the fact that the accident you are involved in is categorized as a private property accident. If you have never heard of that thing before, or if you do not exactly know what it really is, it is because this thing is sort of not common knowledge.

As far as accidents go, there are two types used in differentiating them based on the location where they take place. There are public accidents and there are private property accidents. An accident is categorized as public if it takes place in a public space. A good example of public accidents would be one that takes place on a roadway. See, anyone can use the road, hence its public status. In this case, you can rely on calling a police officer to file an accident report. The police officer in question will then document the event in a detailed manner.

An accident that takes place in a private property, on the other hand, does not require the presence of a police officer to document the happening. In fact, a police does not even need to be called at all, unless there is some violence involved or one of the parties related to the accident breaks the law. So, what about when your car bumps another in a parking lot? A parking lot is a public space, too, isn’t it? A store’s parking lot is also a public space given that even those who do not go there can park their car there. Here’s the thing: a store’s parking lot might accommodate non-shoppers to park there (some stores go as far as restricting their parking lot exclusively for customer), but that parking lot is owned by the store, which in turn rents the space from a landlord, which makes everything on the surface of the area privately owned. Obviously, your bumping another car falls under the category of private property accidents. So, what to do when you’re involved in such an accident? Use your phone to document everything from the other car’s license plate to the damage that occurs. Consult your insurance company using these documentations subsequently.