Is the person backing out of a parking space always at fault?

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Is the person backing out of a parking space always at fault?

Minor backing out of a parking space an adult pulled into the parking space next to her resulting in her front in scraping his door. She was told by the school that the person backing out is always at fault? It is now going to cost us $1200 to repair the scratch on his car.

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, that person is not always at fault, but the presumption is that (s)he was--such as by not checking sightlines adequately and/or ensuring the way was clear before backing out. However, that presumption can be overcome by evidence showing that the other person was, in fact, the one at fault--for example, if the minor was backing out carefully and the other person was speeding through the lot, driving drunk, talking on his/her cellphone at the time, etc.

If you believe the minor was not at fault, you could refuse to voluntarily pay, then see if the other driver and/or his insurer sue you; if sued, you could provide testimony (e.g. the minor's or other witnesses') or other evidence (e.g. a police report) showing that the other driver was at fault, to try to refute his case.


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