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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 38888
Experience:  retired (mostly)
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In a strip-mall parking lot, a part of the road comes to a

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In a strip-mall parking lot, a part of the road comes to a somewhat blind "T" intersection. There are no signs or signals at this intersection. The road is primarily for delivery trucks and employee parking. At the "T" intersection, the view to the right is wide open, no obstructions. The view to the left is hindered some by the building on the left and by cars parked on the side of that building. I came to a full stop at that intersection and checked both ways. It was clear. I was just going to make a hard right turn to get into a parking spot. After seeing it was clear, I pulled out slowly to make that 180 degree turn. About three to four seconds into the turn, my car gets hit by someone coming from the left. They didn't honk the horn, there was no screeching tires, and there were no tire marks on the pavement. Their insurance company is claiming that I violated the intersection right-of-way. I never did see the other car until there was contact. At the time of the contact, I was half-way through my turn. And, neither car was in the intersection. How do traffic rules apply to this situation?

Thanks,
Brad
Hello,

Every person owes a duty to use due care to avoid a foreseeable risk of injury to others. This is known as the "standard of care."

The issue here is whether or not the vehicle that struck you was traveling too fast to see you, such that it could not stop or avoid the collision. It seems unlikely to me that the vehicle was traveling very fast -- because if it were, then you would not be asking your question -- you would be dead or in serious condition in a hospital right now.

So, the next question is whether or not the driver was distracted, such that he/she didn't see you (txting or looking at the vehicle radio or GPS, etc.).

In order for a driver to be presumed liable, the driver must be proved to have violated a traffic offense/infraction. If you couldn't see anyone on the road before you entered the intersection, then you cannot be guilty of failure to yield, because there was no one traveling through the intersection to which you had to yield.

However, the other vehicle had to have come from somewhere. So, the question is: How fast was that vehicle traveling when you entered the intersection, and given that speed, was the vehicle far enough away so that it could not be observed from your position. This still may not place you at fault, if you can show that the other driver was distracted. The vehicle apparently struck you, which generally means that the other driver had the last clear chance to avoid the impact. Obviously that didn't happen -- which once again, leads to the issue of whether or not the other driver was distracted.

This is one of those cases where either party may be negligent, depending upon the facts -- and at this point the facts are not sufficient to make that determination.

Hope this helps.
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