Got hit while backing out of my families driveway

Asked almost 3 years ago - Houston, TX

So my friend got hit while backing out of the driveway no car was insight then out of nowhere a Pontiac comes out of nowhere going about 50 or 45 mph in a 20 mph zone

only the right taillight got damage along with a large dent in the rear end (right side).

The Pontiac had clearly been on other accidents cause it had many dents and its rear bumper was messed up.

i was told that my friend had the right of way but his insurance wont fix his car but, will fix the other girls car.


can my friend take this on to court, he has never had any tickets or accidents before this

but the girl clearly seemed that she has been in some accidents

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Jack Todd Ivey

    Contributor Level 12

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Well the person that told you that your friend had the right of way, has never read the Texas Transportation Code. Sec. 545.256 states that:

    An operator emerging from an alley, driveway or building in a business or residence district shall:

    (1) stop the vehicle before moving on a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across an alley or driveway;
    (2) yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian to avoid a collision; and
    (3) upon entering the roadway, yield the right-of-way to an approaching vehicle.

    So, at best, you friend is contributorily negligent for this collision. In Texas that means that a jury would have to consider both your friend's negligence and that of the other driver to decide who's at fault.

    Since the Transportation Code places an affirmative duty on your client to yield the right of way, I believe most juries in Texas would hold your either entirely at fault, or primarily at fault. Your friend's accusation about speed are most likely circumstancial absent an third party witness to confirm the fact. Given such, under Texas law, a party cannot be more than 50% liabible for a loss and be awarded civil damages. I just do not see your friend winning this case.

    The fact that the speeding driver's car was dinged up is probably inadmissible at trial to prove she was speeding, under our standards of what is or is not relevant evidence.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but at least you can review the statute for yourself and understand that Texas law placed the burden to yeild on your friend.

  2. Kevin Rindler Madison

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is hard to give you an answer without reviewing all of the facts and looking at the scene of the collision. Were the police called? Did the Houston Police come out and make an accident report? These are all factors in the case. Normally, the driver on a roadway has the right of way and a person backing out of a private driveway has the duty to "back in safety" which means yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. Your friend can and should argue that the collision did not occur due to their negligence but, rather, due to the Pontiac driver's excessive and reckless speed. As a matter of fact, your friend should argue, there was no way to yield to a car they couldn't see because the driver was traveling at a very high rate of speed that appeared to be twice the posted speed limit. I do not know what the damage was to your friend's car but in Texas Justice of the Peace SMALL CLAIMS courts have jurisdiction now up to $10,000 in damages and you do not need an attorney to file in Small Claims Court and the rules of evidence and procedure are very relaxed in these courts. It could easily come out to a fact finding that both parties were jointly negligent. You may want to visit with an attorney about this where you live.

    This is a general response to a question. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . If your friend only has liability coverage and the insurance won't cover his vehicle, he can try to take this to small claims court as it is a small amount, however, he may be at fault for backing into the street despite this person ostensibly speeding. Good luck to you.

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  4. Thomas J. Turner

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Under Texas law, a person operating a car that is exiting private property must yield right of way to traffic that is on a public street. Also, Texas has a comparative fault statute, meaning that both parties to a collision may be partially at fault. In a lawsuit, your friend could attempt to use her impression that the other driver was speeding to place some of the blame on the other driver. Unfortunately, I don't believe your friend could escape all fault because the speeding driver did have the right of way. Finally, the fact that the other driver's car had damages from other collisons would not be admissible to prove that the other driver was a poor driver and therefore at fault in this case. Sorry.

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