I got into an accident in the parking garage at school today and I’m curious who’s at fault.
Here’s the situation. On the second to top floor of a parking garage at my school (top being closed due to a ton of snow) I was the third in a line of four cars waiting to turn around after finding out that that the garage was full (imagine we’re all facing north). The first two cars pulled into a handicapped space at the end of the row and turned around and left and I was getting ready to pull into the handicapped space to turn around as well when someone came out of the stairwell. I asked if he was leaving and he said yes and he then headed for a spot that would be to the west. At this point instead of pulling into the handicapped space I backed up and was getting ready to turn to follow the guy when I heard a car horn and stopped for a second and looked around but I didn’t see anyone; since I was in a parking garage and it echoes I couldn’t tell where it was coming from and not seeing anyone assumed it was for someone else and proceeded to go ahead with my turn to follow the person going to their car.
As it turns out there was a person who parked in a handicapped spot opening west (mine was opening south) and was waiting for a spot to open. This was the person who honked, and he had done so to let me know he had been waiting. He came out of the space and I didn’t discover this until I hit him. I hadn’t pulled back very far at all and it should’ve been obvious I was getting ready to turn (I had nowhere else to go) but this guy had come out anyways.
So who’s at fault? Did this guys honking give me ample warning even though I had no idea it was directed at me, or should the guy have waited until I was entirely clear before he came out?
For the record the guy claimed I was at fault but there was no damage done to his vehicle, whereas I shattered the lenses on my headlight and turn signal, so he was willing to let the whole thing slide. Oh, and the person who was behind me pulled off so no witnesses.