Auto Accident: Who is at fault?

My wife was about to back out of a stall at the local shopping mall when a car passed behind her. She then started backing up and the car that had passed her backed up behind her and was hit. My wife and the driver of the other car both stated they could not see each other because of a blind spot. I say it is a 50/50 blame. Does anyone know how the court would place blame? Thanks.

What state? This kind of thing often varies wildly from one to another.


Apparently it would be nobody’s fault:


What on earth is the point of requiring motorists to buy no-fault insurance? Since each motorist is basically covering their own expenses for every crash (via the mechanism of their insurance companies) what would be the problem with someone deciding not to buy insurance and just paying their own bills if the need arose?


Because insurance guarantees the amount of the damages can be paid. An uninsured person might not necessarily have enough money to pay within a reasonable time frame, if at all.

Pay who? Under the no-fault system it seems that neither motorist pays any money to the other anyway. They are just responsible for their own medical/loss-of-income bills.

If the state doesn’t require people to buy medical insurance in general (or do they?) then what’s the point of requiring it specifically for “medical expenses incurred while in a vehicle”?

No, each motorist’s insurance pays his/her own costs. Its purpose is to reduce frivolous lawsuits.

The reduction of frivolous lawsuits happens because of the legislation that imposes a lower limit on the damage that can be sued for, though - why does it have anything to do with whether or not the involved parties are insured?

Normally, the reason for requiring insurance on cars is so that if you damage someone else or their property, they can be sure that you can compensate the other person. This no-fault scheme appears to be compelling you to insure yourself, since at no point in the process does money go from one motorist to another, either directly or indirectly via their insurance company.

Say motorist A and motorist B crash. Motorist A has no-fault insurance, which pays for his medical expenses. Why would it make a lick of difference to A or anybody else in the world whether B has insurance that pays for his medical expenses, or whether he has to just suck it up and pay for them himself?

It has nothing to do with whether or not they are insured, and everything to do with there being no legal fault (with the exception of the listed conditions in my link). If there is no legal fault, there is no lawsuit.

I agree, it doesn’t seem to make sense. The insurance requirement relative to no-fault is probably a provision the insurance companies successfully lobbied the state legislature to include in order to make more money.

There is arguably a positive public benefit. More people who could not pay for their own medical expenses buy the insurance, so the public is less burdened.

I think the other motorist should be at fault because they were traveling backward in the roadway. Your mother was backing out of a parking space. In most jurisdictions the directional arrows in a lane of a parking lot can be considered “one-way” signs.

I think the other motorist should be at fault because they were traveling backward in the roadway. Your mother was backing out of a parking space. In most jurisdictions the directional arrows in a lane of a parking lot can be considered “one-way” signs.

QED No fault in the context you present relates only to injuries, not property damage. The intent of this type of “No-Fault” coverage is to protect the responsible person, who buys car insurance, from assholes that think insurance is too expensive but still think they have a right to operate a 1500+ lb piece of steel at breathtakingly uncontrolable speed…but that’s getting PIT-y. :slight_smile:
No-Fault laws and their ups and downs are so complex that they really do deserve their own GQ thread…and their own PIT. There is no way to address them in any meaningful “Ignorance-Fighting” way in a series of asides in a GQ to which the laws simply do NOT apply.
Kid_Gilligan almost has the right guess, just has the liability assigned to the wrong party. :wink:
I tried to look up Minnesota’s Vehicle Codes/Statutes but, quite frankly, my Foster’s is getting warm. For the REAL answer she can ask her claim representative which traffic statute will apply–should be a no brainer for them.

Normally parking lot backing cases will go like this:

  1. V1 is backing out of a stall, V2 is driving through the aisle = V2 has right of way (irrespective of forward or backward movement)

  2. V1 is backing out of a stall, V2 backing out of a stall = 50%/50% liability: each person collects under his own collision coverage.

Unless MN has other rules, yo mamma is at fault. Essentially for improper lookout while backing/entering a through way.

Sorry…I meant yo wife is at fault (why was I thinking mama?)

If it was at a mall, it was private property. no one’s insurance pays in that case, at least in this state.

picunurse >>>>>BBBBBZZZZZZZZZZT<<<<<<

Sorry, babe. The private property element in that case only means the cops won’t come unless someone’s hurt or unless some really major (criminal) damage went on. Their non-response can make it difficult to determine liability because no reputable independent types (like da fuzz) come out and officially document the scene.

Insurance doesn’t care where the loss occurred (barring the whole US/Canada/Mexico thing), liability and/or property damage coverages will apply.

In any case your wife should challenge the increase in her auto insurance due to a collision.

The other car WAS backing up in the travel lane, which is usually unnecessary; Mrs. Linquini was backing out of a parking space AND the other driver knew it.

I would say that the person backing up is at fault. You really shouldn’t do this in a parking lot any way.

Challenge away–and I sincerely wish you luck. But it won’t work. She’s at fault just as much as she would be if someone slows down suddenly in front of her and she rear-ends them: You gotta be mindful of where the leading edges of your car go. Had she been halfway out of her stall and then the backing car hit her in the side, you might have a prayer, but still it would come down to “who had posession of the lane of travel?” and the answer would not be the lovely Mrs. Linquini. :frowning:

Unexpected behavior of another car is almost never going to release you from your responsibility to be observant. There are such mitigating factors as “sudden emergeny” (car in front of you explodes because a road rager opened up his roof-mounted .50 cal and blew it up) but you’re not likely to apply this concept successfully in this case.