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

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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