Are You at Fault if Someone Pulls Out in Front of You?
When someone pulls out in front of you suddenly, many things can go wrong. For example, you might not be able to stop in time and crash into the vehicle that pulled out in front of you. Or, you might swerve to avoid the other driver and hit a median or barrier–or even another car. You might even slam on the brakes and avoid a collision, only to have another driver rear-end you.
If you’re injured or someone else involved is injured, you may be unsure who is responsible for the damages. The answer will differ depending on the specifics of the accident, and the best source of information is an experienced local car accident attorney. This article will explain the basics of liability for accidents caused by someone pulling out in front of you and how certain variables affect liability.
A Driver Who Pulls Out in Front of You is Likely Negligent
Liability for a Texas car accident typically lies with the person (or people) whose negligence caused the collision and resulting injuries. If another driver who didn’t have the right of way suddenly pulls out in front of you, that will typically be considered negligent.
Imagine, for example, you’re driving along a residential street at the correct speed limit, paying attention to the road. A driver whips out of a driveway without warning, just a few feet in front of you.
Texas law requires a driver exiting a driveway to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. You react quickly but are unable to avoid hitting the other driver. In this situation, the driver who suddenly pulled out in front of you would typically be responsible for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Depending on the circumstances, though, you or someone else might share liability.
Shared Liability When a Driver Pulls Out in Front of You
Though a driver who doesn’t have the right of way and pulls out in front of you will usually be at least partly liable, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to recover full damages. In some situations, both you and the other driver may be found to have been negligent. In that case, the damages available will depend on the percentage of fault assigned to each driver.
Imagine, for instance, that a driver pulled out of a driveway in front of you exactly as described in the previous example. But, unlike in the first example, you had looked away from the road for a few seconds to check a text message. If you had not been distracted, you might have been able to avoid the accident or to reduce your speed enough that your injuries would have been less significant.
If the judge or jury determines that you were 25% responsible for the accident and resulting injuries, you will only be able to recover up to 75% of your damages from the other driver. If you’re found to be more than half responsible, you won’t be able to recover at all.
Liability When Additional Vehicles are Involved
The previous examples involve only your vehicle and the car that pulled out in front of you. But, when someone pulls out in front of you abruptly, the resulting collision may involve other parties. For instance, you may swerve to avoid the car that cut in front of you and sideswipe another car. Or, a car that was traveling behind you may hit your car when you brake.
In each of these scenarios, full responsibility may fall on the driver who pulled out in front of you, or liability may be shared by any combination of drivers involved. Determining who was responsible and to what degree can be complicated. Proving it can be even more complicated, and will often require the use of expert witnesses.
That’s just one reason it’s important to talk with an experienced Texas car accident attorney as soon as possible after a traffic accident with someone who pulled out in front of you.
Schedule a Consultation with a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today
Insurance companies don’t always play fair, whether that means delaying claims, looking for reasons to deny the claim, or trying to get you to give up your right to sue in exchange for an inadequate settlement. The earlier you involve an experienced Texas car accident lawyer, the more fully your attorney will be able to protect you.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of George Salinas have significant experience representing victims of car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes. They know how to identify parties who may share responsibility, assemble evidence, and work with experts to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. To learn more about your rights and options, schedule your free consultation right now. Just call 210-225-0909, fill out the contact form on this site, or click in the bottom right corner of the page to chat.
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