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A car backed into my parked car, but they say I'm at fault

by Liz
(San Jose, CA)

I was stopped, with my car in park, at a gas station pump. Another driver had pulled clear of the pumps previous to my parking. I had my door open, and was turned reaching for my purse in the back seat. As I turned back around to turn off the car, I saw the other driver backing up. I did not honk my horn because I thought he would swerve to miss my car, and I was shocked he was backing up.

He provided his insurance card and left before I could get back to my purse to retrieve my phone to take pictures. Now, his insurance company is saying I am at fault because I had a "duty to honk". They provided a vehicle code which references having a working horn on the car, and that garbage and refuse trucks need to have a working rear backup alarm. I found the vehicle code that states he has a duty not to backup unless he can do so safely.

Our cars were only about 10-15 feet apart, and if he had either turned his head or looked in his rear view or drivers side mirror he would have seen my red minivan. Can I be held liable for not avoiding an accident in a parked car? By the time we pay our percentage and our deductible we end up owing more than 50% of the repair costs, plus our car rental for the week with no car.

I am thinking of taking the issue to small claims court since their insurance is not budging and my insurance just wants it settled quickly.


Hello, well, small claims could be a good option for you. This is ridicules! Your car is parked, not moving, there to be seen.

They are the ones backing in a gas station, they have a significant duty to make sure it’s safe.

Please see our section on small claims here:

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Good Luck,

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Comments for A car backed into my parked car, but they say I'm at fault

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Jan 31, 2012
Auto repair San Jose
by: Dacey

This is the best way to learn the how one should back its car since parking a wrong car is really not acceptable

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