Who is at Fault in an Accident When Backing Out of a Parking Space?

Who is at Fault in an Accident When Backing Out of a Parking Space?

You’re just trying to get in and get out. Sound familiar? Most people in parking lots or parking spaces are just trying to move on to their next errand or to get home safely. That is the perfect environment for entirely preventable accidents. Backing out of a parking space leaves a lot of room for error and a lot of opportunity for accidents.

Then there is the issue of the right of way. Who has it? The person backing out of a parking space, or the person trying to come down the lane? What if both vehicles were trying to back out? It’s an endless stream of questions.

Moving Vehicles and Right-of-Way

On the private property, the most common question that helps sort out liability is, “whose car was moving?” For example, if a person coming down the lane had stopped, to allow the vehicle to back out, then that person hit the stopped vehicle, the moving car is liable. It’s a fairly good rule of thumb for parking lots. The moving car has the right-of-way, and the moving vehicle is also liable for damages.

But, when cars are parked illegally or outside of the clearly drawn out format for the parking lot, the stopped vehicle may take liability. Now, if the crash happened on private property, the illegally parked driver could acknowledge that the rules within the parking lot don’t even count. Is that real? Yes, it is. On private property parking spaces are guidelines and work because everyone follows them. Or most people follow them, and then there are the few who take advantage of knowing there is little consequence for doing whatever they want.

When it comes to the right of way, however, there is some structure there. The person in the traffic lane always has the right of way. Unless they have stopped to allow a parked driver to exit. At that time, the flow of traffic stops on that lane. The right of way is one of the issues that present trouble in the parking lot crashes again and again.

The Big Blind

The big blind, a poker term, and common name for the most troublesome parking lot crash. The situation of the big blind is that two cars, usually parked opposite each other on the same lane, back into one another. Let’s look at the issues here.

The biggest issue is that both cars are in motion, so the general rule of the moving car doesn’t apply here. Additionally, neither driver explicitly had the right of way. In these accidents, drivers will almost always share fault even if you or the other driver feels that it’s not their fault.

Remember, in these situations, to be as civil as possible. Tempers flare when both parties believe the other is at fault. You’ll need someone to go through the extent of both people’s fault percentage carefully. Georgia uses a comparative fault system which means as long as you have less than 50% fault, you can still pursue compensation.

Is An Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney Necessary?

In parking lot cases, it usually is necessary to involve an attorney. Serious injuries can happen even at slow speeds, and issues between the two drivers often don’t’ go over well. People become irate and irrational. Don’t let yourself be caught between two insurance companies arguing that the other person was responsible. Hire an Atlanta car accident attorney and let them fight for your part.

It’s often that you will take on some part of the fault unless someone clearly backed up into you while you had the right of way in a traffic lane. Then it’s likely that the other person will take full fault in the claim. If you do take some part of the fault, your attorney can fight to ensure that the percentage is as small as possible. Ultimately, working towards getting you a larger compensation payout.

Should You Contact A Car Accident Lawyer In Atlanta, Ga

Yes, you should always contact an attorney if someone hit you while backing out of a parking space. You’ll learn during a consultation or the initial meeting whether you actually need an attorney or now. Contact a  lawyer does not lock you into an agreement, and many law offices don’t charge for that initial consultation.

Hearing what an attorney has to say can help you decide what the best course for resolution is for your case. When handling crashes in a parking lot, things can get sticky. Avoid the struggle of trying to handle this claim yourself. Contact The Weinstein Firm and learn more about your case today.

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