Christine Grégoire

Fault for Parking Lot Accidents is Split 50/50: Fact or Fiction?

I have long wondered why most people are convinced that when an accident occurs in a parking lot, fault is automatically split 50/50. I decided to ask my friends and family, but I came up with no conclusive response. I assume, therefore, that it’s simply a popular belief. Let’s try to debunk it together.


First of all, when an accident occurs in Quebec that involves two or more vehicles, insurers must refer to the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA) . With the included detailed, pre-established diagrams, they will be able to determine the fault of each of the parties, even in a public parking lot. Despite the lack of traffic signs in a parking lot, there are still some basic principles that can serve as references:

  • A vehicle travelling on an alley has the right of way over a vehicle leaving its parking spot.
  • A vehicle travelling on a main alley has the right of way over a vehicle travelling on a side alley.

In the event of a collision, if the versions of events of the two individuals are conflicting and no witness was present, fault for the accident will be split 50/50. If the versions of events are not conflicting and if there are no injuries, a joint report must be completed, and both individuals must submit their claims to their respective insurers. In such a case, the insured must pay 50% of the B2 deductible (the collision deductible).


Since we are discussing parking lots, let’s take advantage of this opportunity to talk about shopping cart accidents. In the event of a collision between a cart and a vehicle, the person who had the cart in his or her possession is at fault. To put it in context, let’s use an example of someone who finishes shopping and is putting bags in the trunk of the car, when suddenly, the wind blows, pushing the cart, which hits the door of a nearby car. Unfortunately, in this case, the person is at fault. However, since the person’s vehicle wasn’t involved in the accident, the civil liability included in this individual’s home insurance policy will cover such a situation. This type of insurance covers you anywhere in the world for damage you may cause to a third party.

To conclude, we want to remind you that you alone have total control of your vehicle. Therefore, in parking lots, it is important to be extra cautious and have eyes in the back of your head, as our parents would say! Make sure that when you move your vehicle, the space around you is free and that there are no objects, pedestrians, cyclists, children, or other vehicles. Accidents can happen so fast, but you can avoid them if you slow down!

For informational purposes, I am providing you with an interesting link that explains the steps to take when an accident occurs if you are having trouble determining the fault of each of the parties. In addition, did you know that there is a mobile application that acts as a joint report, developed by the Groupement des assureurs automobiles, which allows you to quickly fill out a report if an accident occurs? Click here to download it now!

Share this article
Christine Grégoire Damage Insurance Broker See the profile

Related articles

  • December 21 2022  |  Home, Personal,

    How to prevent fires during the holidays

    Read the article
  • September 19 2022  |  Auto, Personal,

    My child is learning to drive. Do they need to be insured?

    Read the article


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.