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    lisa1976's Avatar
    lisa1976 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 28, 2007, 11:52 AM
    Determining fault in traffic accident
    Hello, I'm interested in an unbiased opinion regarding determining the individual(s) most likely at fault in a minor traffic accident.

    I was traveling straight westbound on a college campus, no stop sign or traffic signals nearby. I was driving past a parking lot on my right when a vehicle attempting to turn left out of the lot struck my rear passenger-side wheel.

    The situation was complicated by the fact that there was a campus bus that seemed parked along the curb in the westbound lane in which I was traveling, just in front of the parking lot exit. The bus was idling & was occupied, but there is no regular bus-stop along the curb in that location. There is a posted bus-stop INSIDE the parking lot, but buses are supposed to pull into the lot to pickup & dropoff passengers. The second driver's view was completely obstructed by the bus; there is no way she could've seen an oncoming car without pulling significantly forward right in front of me (which she clearly didn't based on where she hit me). Also, not sure if it's relevant, but there's a sign clearly prohibiting on-street parking about 20ft from where the bus was pulled over.

    The campus buses are marked "no passing on campus", but since the bus wasn't at a posted stop and had been just sitting there for the entire 90 seconds or so I could see it, it didn't seem like it made sense to stop behind it & just wait indefinitely. It appeared to me that the driver had deliberately positioned himself outside of the travel lane with the specific intention of allowing westbound traffic to proceed while he was sitting there. I did slow down as I neared the front of the bus, to make sure I wouldn't hit any pedestrians that might walk out in front, but an oncoming vehicle moves much faster than a pedestrian. Police responded to the accident but didn't issue any citations.

    Where is fault likely to be assigned here? To me? The second driver? The bus driver? Thanks.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #2

    Feb 28, 2007, 12:26 PM
    Since the police did not cite anyone, they have decided not to lay blame. The involved insurance companies will work out the fault. My feeling is the driver pulling out of the lot is at fault. She did the hitting. If she could not see because of the bus she should not have pulled out. Techically, she was driving too fast for the conditions.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Feb 28, 2007, 12:56 PM
    I'm not sure if I have the picture. You were traveling in the same direction as the bus was facing. I'm also assuming this was in the US where you drive on the right. The other person was pulling out from the parking lot in front of the bus and making a left turn.

    On that basis, the other driver was almost totally at fault. For her to hit you by the rear wheel, she was going to fast. Otherwise she should have been able to stop once she saw you appear past the front of the bus. The bus driver may be ascribed some fault here for blocking sight lines from a parking lot exit.

    The only place where you might have some fault is if you were traveling too fast. But if you slowed sufficiently while passing the bus (which you should have done), then you are blameless.
    lisa1976's Avatar
    lisa1976 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Feb 28, 2007, 01:13 PM
    Yes, I was traveling in the same direction the bus was facing, and this occurred in the US so I was driving on the right, and the second driver (turning left) had to cross the oncoming lane in order to proceed in her intended direction.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #5

    Feb 28, 2007, 01:16 PM
    She is at fault for failure to yield and driving too fast for conditions. It's a bit academic since no one was given a ticket. The insurance companies will decide which company will pay, it won't be you personally and you have no ticket.
    lisa1976's Avatar
    lisa1976 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Feb 28, 2007, 03:06 PM
    Agreed that it is academic, except insofar as there could possibly be some impact to my insurance premiums. The damage on both sides was minor enough that it may make more financial sense for me to pay out-of-pocket vs. file a claim & pay increased premiums for the next few years, if I were to be found at fault. Hence the reason for posting the question :)
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
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    #7

    Feb 28, 2007, 03:18 PM
    I agree with those above. The fact she hit you probably means she is at fault, unless the passing of the bus when you aren't supposed to is an issue. I know. I know. You said you waited and you did what id do after a time... that's the only defense I can think of... that you "illegally" were in a position that you were not supposed to be in by passing a stopped bus.

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