Is the neighbor able to sue us if her vehicle is hit while backing out of her driveway?

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Is the neighbor able to sue us if her vehicle is hit while backing out of her driveway?

Our neighbor just threaten to sue us if she is ever hit while backing her car out of her driveway. Her reason she states is because when we park in our driveway our vehicles block her view. We have a truck and a van she wants us to park our vehicles on the street.

Asked on November 12, 2016 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

She can unfortuantely file a lawsuit if she wants; the law doesn't "prescreen" lawsuits to make sure they are valid before people file them. But based on what you write, she would not have a good case: you are legally allowed to park your vehicles in your own driveway, and the law doesn't make people liable for what they are allowed to do. And if she knows that there are vehicles possibly blocking her sight line, it then becomes incumbent on her to take appropriate care or measures--e.g. back out real slow and pause to look around; blow her horn to warn people; possible mount a wide-angle mirrow on her own property to increase visibility; etc. She needs to exercise appropriate care under the circumstances. So it does not appear  she could successfully sue (i.e. win), though she could file a case and force you to respond.


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