Who's at fault in this parking lot accident scenario?

by K
(Newport News, VA, USA)

Scenario: Car "A" is attempting to back out of a parking space when car "B" is entering the parking lot. Car "A" yields as Car "B" passes behind car "A", then proceeds to back out. Car "B" passes beyond car "A", then stops and attempts to back into a parking space directly behind car "A".

The parking space that car "B" is attempting to occupy is separated from the parking space that car "A" is occupying by the parking lot through lane. Both cars are moving in reverse and collide from the rear.

Who is at fault in a collision like this, when one car is backing OUT of a parking space, while another car is backing INTO a nearby parking space? How is liability determined for sake of the insurance claims? Any perspective you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Who's at fault in this parking lot accident scenario?":

K. (Newport News, VA, USA):

The State of Virginia is a "fault" state. This means at-fault parties can be held liable for the results of their negligence. In cases like the one you present, it will be difficult to establish which party was at fault. In these situations insurance claims adjusters normally decide between themselves which party is liable.

Unfortunately, the State of Virginia is also a "pure contributory negligence" state. This means if one party contributed to the accident by even 1 percent, the party isn't entitled to any compensation. Under the facts you present, if it is determined either driver A or B was even partially at fault, that driver will not be able to recover anything.

If the accident between A and B resulted in serious property damage or personal injuries, both parties should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney. This is especially true since there is a legitimate question of liability.

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

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Parking Lot Accident Questions

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review: