In Wisconsin a private drive or parking lot accident is handled like an accident occurring on a public highway or street. However, the usual rules of the road may not apply. The highway rules of the road are the laws in the Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 346 and in the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Motorists’ Handbook. For example, on a public roadway all drivers have a duty to maintain a lookout and to keep their vehicle under management and control. On a private road or parking lot, a driver does not have those specific duties of care unless he knows or should know that there is another car or person in the area. Here is how some Wisconsin cases have addressed the issue over the years.
When an accident occurs on private property, an individual is not under a duty to keep a lookout unless [he or] she knew or in the exercise of ordinary care ought to have known that [the] plaintiff or someone else was likely to be passing behind or in the vicinity of [the] car. Brenz v. State Farm Ins., 2016 Wisc. App. 435.
The ordinary rules of negligence involving parking or management and control of automobiles apply to a private parking lot as they do to public streets which are not governed by some specific ordinance or traffic regulation. Olsen v. Milwaukee Waste Paper Co., 36 Wis. 2d 1 (1967).
The accident happened on private property, and it is conceded by plaintiff that defendant was not under a duty to keep a lookout unless she knew or in the exercise of ordinary care ought to have known that plaintiff or someone else was likely to be passing behind or in the vicinity of her car. Hartzheim v. Smith, 238 Wis. 55 (1941).
The duty of both parties driving on a road other than a public highway is to use due care as that term is understood at common law, and this requires that the drivers keep a proper lookout, maintain proper management and control, and when meeting each other drive on the right-hand side of the road. Petersen v. Jansen, 236 Wis. 292 (1940).
Even though the premises were private property, the jury could believe under the evidence that Wescott ought to have known that men were employed there; and that he ought to have observed or anticipated that some of them might be at work close to the truck. Patterson v. Edgerton Sand & Gravel Co., 227 Wis. 11 (1938).
[nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] in Milwaukee, Wisconsin represents persons injured in private drive or parking lot accidents for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Witness statements and expert opinions are often necessary to prove negligence.