Liability for hitting an oncoming car while backing out of a parking space?

by MB
(West Bloomfield, MI)

Car A was reversing from a space in a parking lot, with a rear end camera and human peripheral view blocked due to big cars parked at both ends. A car approached from the right and car A hit car B on the right side, just below the back door. Car B is damaged from the front door until the tail light.

Is car A at fault? Was car B speeding? Car A only had its bumper a bit scratched. Please could someone provide some perspective to this? Who is negligent? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Liability for hitting an oncoming car while backing out of a parking space?":

MB (West Bloomfield, MI):

From the facts you present, it is impossible to know if Car B was speeding without more information, including witness statements, video, or a traffic citation issued by the police to Car B’s driver for speeding.

If you had proof Car B was speeding, than pursuant to the Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.649(5), Car B would be at fault, and as a result of that fault, would be legally responsible for the accident. Section 257.649 (5) reads in part, "The driver of a vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit a right of way..."

At this point it appears neither car sustained major damage. As a result, it will likely be up to your respective insurance companies to decide who was at fault. Be sure to report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Failing to report the accident to your insurance company will leave you exposed, and is likely against the terms of your policy.

At this point it appears no one was injured, but it is altogether possible the other driver will claim he or she was injured at some point in the future.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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