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Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

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Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

Post by MrMiffedMotorist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:20 pm

First, I would like to thank the Sarasota Police Department for helping me obtain the attached footage of a traffic accident I was involved in.

So onto my questions...

I do not have collision insurance and I am trying to get her insurance to pay for my damages. New tire, rim, rear door fender etc

I am in the SUV trying to turn right onto US 41. As you can see a young woman pulls up alongside of me as I am scanning traffic for an opening. The video is a bit unclear, but she is on course to go over the curb, there was not enough room for her to squeeze by me. As I begin to pull into traffic she moves forward and hits my rear tire/rim and rear door.

I was wondering, because I came to the uncontrolled intersection first, is she failing to yield the right of way?

Or am I in the wrong for moving forward and not seeing that she is trying to cut in line around me?

She told her insurance company and the officer who responded that she was at the intersection first and that I had cut her off. That really ticked me off so I went through the trouble of tracking down the footage. I fear I'm going to be out of luck though. I overheard her talking to her friend at the scene. She just had the bumper replaced after 3 other people "hit her"

Again, sorry for the intrusion and thank you for getting me this far.



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Re: Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

Post by Bob Anderson » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:59 am


Looking at the video a few times, it appears that either the car moves into the right rear of your SUV, or in response to the right rear of your SUV catching it as you turn.

Either way, its clear that you were at the intersection first, which perhaps weighs against the other driver's credibility. However, I'm not confident that the car would have been forced to mount the curb had it continued.

Fault is not necessarily a 0 or 100 percent deal, but rather in many accidents, each driver can have different percentage of fault.

Others can chime in, but I would think that in order to shift more fault on the car driver, you would need to establish that the car moved forward into the side of your SUV, and/or that it was unreasonable for the car to have been positioned where it was.

Good luck,
Bob Anderson
Tempe, Arizona

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Re: Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

Post by motor025 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:57 pm


What intersection is this? I would be interested in looking it up on google maps to see the layout.

Is the street you are on a two lane(1 exit lane,1 enter lane), or 3 or more lanes(1 left turn exit, 1 right turn exit, 1 or more enter lanes)?

Seems she was able to pull up beside you pretty easily. Most drivers preparing to make a right turn would be tighter against the right curb and there would not be sufficient room for her to pull up. If you were driving a semi, which have to make a wide right turn, then I could understand being further away from the right curb. Cars squeeze in on them all the time.

As far as the collision goes, yes, you did arrive at the intersection first. But, as I said, she pulled beside you pretty easily, and appears that her front end gets further out than you, as if she is trying to see around you to make her turn. It does not appear to me that she moves again until you make contact with her vehicle and your vehicle pushes/pulls her forward.

I would think you have fault based upon not seeing her prior to pulling out. She may also have some fault based upon the design of the intersection, lane setup and if she truly squeezed around you. But, that would have seemed pretty easy for the officer to have observed and cited her for at the time.

Just my thoughts and plenty more out there, especially in a jury pool.

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Re: Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

Post by actar670 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:02 am

I would also like to know the location of the crash. The layout of the intersection is big factor to consider in the crash. Most states indicate in their rules of the road that a driver shall make a right turn from the "rightmost portion of the travel lane."

Was this a right turn lane or a combination lane? If it was a combination turn/through lane, did you have a turn signal activated?

While you arrived at the intersection prior to the other vehicle, the other vehicle actually proceeded well past your stopped position prior to stopping. If you had looked to the right prior to moving forward you would have seen her there.

What would have happened if a pedestrian had been crossing from right to left when you began to move forward without looking in that direction?

These are all issues I can see being raised.
Bruce McNally
McNally & Associates ARS, LLC
41 Champlin Ridge Road
Rochester, NH 03867
Office (603) 516-4560

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Re: Minor Traffic Accident... Fault Determination?

Post by MrMiffedMotorist » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:32 pm

The accident occurred in the outlet of a parking lot. I am turning onto US 41 just south of Bahia Vista in Sarasota Fl. ... a=!3m1!1e3

As you can see in the link above, the entrance/exit is divided by a planted median. There is room for 2+ cars on each side of the median but no markings on the ground. I believe I had my blinker on but it can't be shown in the video.

Traffic was quite heavy at the time of the accident and there is no way she could have thought I was turning left across 3 lanes of oncoming traffic.

I had looked right as I pulled up to the intersection and determined that no one was walking on the side walk. I looked right again after I began moving forward. If you look closely, I begin to pull out as soon as she comes to a halt at the road.

The officer that responded refused to write a ticket claiming that since we moved our cars into the parking lot he no longer had jurisdiction. I requested the traffic camera footage on my own after the fact. I'm not sure if I can get a police officer to review it for a citation after the fact. Maybe that is something I should check into.

I get that I bear part of the fault. But if she hadn't been so careless this would not have happened. '

I'm considering measuring the width of that outlet and distance to the traffic camera and backing out how much room was between my car and that light pole. I'm not sure that would be accurate but its a possibility.

Thanks again for your input!

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