If I got a ticket in front of an apartment complex for unsafe backing after I hit a tree with a car, can I sue the complex since the trees were sticking out into the street?

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If I got a ticket in front of an apartment complex for unsafe backing after I hit a tree with a car, can I sue the complex since the trees were sticking out into the street?

The tree was in a wood box on the sidewalk ready to be planted but the box was sticking out into the street and since I could not see the box I backed into it.

Asked on June 28, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You most likely cannot sue the complex: it would not be considered unreasonable for a box like this to protrude slightly into the street under these circumstances, and at the same time, anyone backing a car is required to look carefully behind him or her and avoid hitting anything--like a child or animal, for example--which happens to have rolled/stepped/fallen/etc. into the space behind the car. There is no legitimate excuse for not looking behind you and making sure the space is clear.


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