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Fender bender in my driveway | My fault?

by Steve
(St. Louis, MO)

I was backing out of a driveway onto a residential street and backed into the passenger side middle door of a mini-van.

I didn't see the vehicle approaching because I was looking behind me in the opposite direction. I did look in the direction of the van before I backed out but I did not see it approaching before I began moving.

The first thing I did was pull forward into the driveway, park, and ask the people in the van if everyone was okay. The driver got out and started lecturing me about how I am supposed to drive and then said, "We'll be okay if this door opens."

I have been in an accident before so I just shut my mouth while she opened the damaged door and when it did open I went to my car to retrieve my insurance card and asked her to get her information ready.

We exchanged info, she calmed down and she asked to see the damage on my vehicle. There was almost no damage to my car. The passenger in her vehicle kept suggesting to call the police but neither the driver nor I thought it was necessary. Am I at fault?


Hello Steve,

Most likely yes! The vehicle backing has a duty to look out in all directions before proceeding. The fact that you did not see the vehicle coming your way will be evidence that you did not look (or at least did not look careful enough to see a Van approaching).

In addition, a vehicle entering a street out of a driver must yield the right of way to people already on the street. You had a duty to stop and let the other vehicle go by before proceeding. In both accounts, you will probably be held liable.

In addition, her point of impact makes it look as if you backed out into her, not as if you were backing and she came from the side and hit you. All of these factors together can lead to fault on your end.

At any rate, for more information on how fault is determined, please visit:

Good Luck

Comments for Fender bender in my driveway | My fault?

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Apr 13, 2009
No Problem
by: Hector

Hi Steve,

No need to feel like an ass. This things happen and that is exactly why you pay insurance for. You did not do it intentionally, plus it sounds like the damage was minor... Thank goodness.


Apr 13, 2009
by: Steve

...That's what I figured. Just thought I'd check because I felt like an ass for causing an accident.

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