Skip to main content

Who's at fault when a car pull out of parking spot and gets hit by car moving into the right lane?

Flushing, NY |

My father was pulling out of a parking spot, was all clear, but a car came around the bend -went from left lane into right lane and hit my father in the driver's door. The insurance is blaming him but the other guy even admitted fault and this accident would not have happened had that driver not veered from the left lane to the right. There's a picture of the accident showing my father's car half way into the right lane and the other car is partially in the right lane (their damage is on the front right corner) -their car is on an angle showing he was not completely in the right lane. We have the same insurance company and I feel they're not helping my father out at all

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


An accident can have more than 1 cause and both drivers had a duty to see what was there to be seen. They probably each have some culpability.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


New York is a comparative fault State, meaning that fault can be shared by the parties to an accident. In other words, it can be split 50/50, 80/20 or even 99/1 (although that would be unusual).

Sorry to say, but the general rule is that the person driving on the roadway has the right of way and someone pulling out of a parking spot must yield until they are clear. However based on what you describe the car changing lanes may share some of the blame. I would expect some sort of split. Hopefully your father has collision coverage otherwise he may have to bear the some of the cost of repairing his vehicle.

Good luck.

The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.


It sounds like lions share of the fault would lie with your father as the operator of a vehicle entering the roadway from a parking spot. Vehicle and Traffic law section 1143 requires a driver entering the roadway to yield the right of way to all approaching vehicles on the road. Section 1162 prohibits a parked vehicle from moving until it can move with reasonable safety. It sounds like the insurance company is, justifiably, of the mindset that your father is at fault for violating one or both of those sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

New York Plaintiff's Personal Injury Attorney Serving NYC, Long Island, Westchester and the surrounding areas. The information provided herein is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. The content herein is for information and educational purposes only, and is based on the limited information provided. Any information provided is not intended to, and does not, create any attorney/client relationship where none exists. For legal advice, please consult with an attorney. While this posting is made for informational purposes only for the AVVO community, to the extent one seeks to contact me based on the content herein, or that this may be viewed by some to be attorney advertising, please be advised of the following: *Attorney Advertising


If your company isn't fixing your dad's car, have one of the above lawyers in your state hold their feet to the fire.


Both are at fault. Consult a lawyer right away


As already stated, the general rule is that the driver on the road has right of way and another driver entering the flow of traffic has the duty to yield. In the absence of any evidence of fault, therefore, an insurance carrier can only conclude that your father was at fault. Here, however, there is very compelling evidence: the other driver's admission! Your insurance carrier couldn't hope for more straight-forward, unambiguous, probative evidence of who was responsible for the accident. Therefore, your carrier has no basis for blaming your father, denying any claims, or raising your premiums. Call your claims adjuster and ask outright how they can ignore the other driver's admission. Hope this helps.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer