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Got hit while backing out of my families driveway

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

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Attorney answers 4


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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the girls front bumper got destroyed from the impact and my friends car was ok except for the rear right end, if we get a car crash investigator with us to court will that help? we took pictures and it 100% looks like its her fault



it was also a two lane street not a main street


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 may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at and Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at


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.

Marc Sean Hurd

Marc Sean Hurd


I would defer to the expertise of counsel in TX, but I know that at least in CA where I practice, the right of way laws generally have a "part b", on those subjects. In other words and by an example, in CA, if you're entering a highway, you may have an obligation to yield the right of way to traffic so close as to reasonably constitute a hazard, but that having so yielded, once you're in the road, oncoming traffic should yield to you. General rules of the road also provide (at least in CA) that you have a right to assume the other driver's good conduct (i.e. not speeding). So, if your friend could show that the other person was speeding (and it sounds from your facts like the other driver was going twice the limit), your friend might be able to prevail that he/she did yield, but that the accident was caused by the speeding vehicle. The problem might well be however, is the cost of showing that the other driver was speeding, all for the sake of a property damage claim... Just my 2 cents...

Jack Todd Ivey

Jack Todd Ivey


I agree that every argument has two sides. But if the Pontiac was traveling 50 mph at the time of impact I suspect we would be looking at far more than a big dent and a busted tail light. At least I can hear defense counsel arguing that in closing.


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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