Pulling Out of a Parking Lot
Accidents often occur when a driver puts out onto the roadway from a parking lot. Many times the driver is hit by a speeding vehicle. This article analyzes this type of accident.
Vehicle Code, Section 21804 applies to all drivers leaving a driveway. The law states that any driver exiting a driveway must yield to all oncoming cars that are close enough that an accident will happen.
Vehicle Code, Section 21350 applies to all drivers on the roadway. The law provides that a driver maynever drive faster than is safe for traffic conditions.
HOW THE LAW WORKS
Determining who is at fault depends on all the facts of the accident. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is essential so that you know your rights.
Here is a typical fact pattern. A driver tries to leave a parking lot and looks to his left for oncoming traffic. Parked cars obstruct his vision. He can only see so far down the roadway. When he believes it is clear, he pulls into the lane. An oncoming motorist he did not see strikes the side of his car.
Who is at fault?
The driver who was leaving the parking lot. It is no defense to say, “my view was blocked, and I did the best I could.” The law requires that the driver make sure cars are not coming.
Could the oncoming driver be at fault?
Yes, if there is evidence that she was speeding, or could have avoided the collision but didn’t because she was distracted. The evidence could come from witnesses or maybe even skidmarks.
Another typical fact pattern is a driver tries to leave a parking lot, and an oncoming driver stops to allow the driver to exit. The driver continues to enter the next lane, thinking other oncoming drivers will stop.
An oncoming driver in the next lane strikes the driver’s car.
Who is at fault?
The driver who was leaving the parking lot. It is no defense that the driver assumed all oncoming drivers would yield. The driver must make sure all lanes are clear.
Could the oncoming driver in the next lane be at fault? Yes, if there is evidence the driver was speeding or could have avoided the accident.
If you have suffered injuries, schedule a free consultation about your rights and remedies.