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Who is at fault in a driveway accident?
A neighbor parked his car in front of my house so that one end was blocking approximately 3 feet of my driveway.
When I backed out that night, I looked, but it was dark, the neighborhood is poorly lit, his car is black, and it was in my blind spot. I side-swiped his bumper, leaving paint and deep grooves in the plastic. My car received minimal damage.
Neither of us wants to report the incident to our insurance companies, but we both feel each other responsible for the accident: me, because he illegally parked blocking my driveway, and him, because I backed my car into his.
I live in the state of California. Can you provide me with any input as to whose fault this would be?
Well, there will be a strong possibility that both drivers owe some responsibility here for the same reasons you outlined.
You cannot illegally park and you must look when you back up. However, the 3 feet into a drive way does not seem like a lot. It’s very possible that the vehicle backing has more responsibility than the vehicle parked.
The bottom line is that the car behind you is a big object (a car) there to be seen. If you did not see that vehicle, then you were not paying attention. Although it was dark and the car was black, then the more duty you have to ensure you do not back into something (a child, for example).
Fore more about fault, please see: http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/Fault-for-the-Accident.html
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