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  1. #1
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    Default Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    My question involves the accuracy of a citation I received and who is at fault for an accident occurring in the state of Massachusetts. I was struck on passenger side by a truck exiting parking lot from my right. Accident occurred 200 feet prior to a lighted intersection. Opening for parking lot is 40 feet prior to solid white line (PR says 100'). Approaching accident scene, road is single lane one direction that widens 100 feet prior to solid white line. Traffic begins to separate into two lanes prior to parking lot. Light was red as I approached. I reduced speed, engaged left signal, noticed right lane heavy with stopped and slowing vehicles, looked into my left side mirror to make sure left lane was open/available, and proceeded into it. As I passed the slowing car on my right and the following car which had stopped approximately eight feet behind the rest of the stopped right lane traffic, I simultaneously viewed movement from my far right, turned to view it and saw the front of a large box truck careening directly at me/passenger door. Was knocked unconscious and ended up across street in same direction. Came to with several helpers/witnesses and was transferred by ambulance to ER. Police never spoke with me. Truck that hit me was not viewed at accident scene and later learned it had driven into parking lot across the road. Following week learn I'm cited with MGL 89 s 8, failure to yield at intersection.

    Questions:

    Police say I was not in a legal lane (40 feet prior to solid white line) yet I was not cited for that infraction. Does that matter?

    If it does matter even though I was not cited for it, when are you supposed to enter the new lane given your not supposed to cross a solid white line?

    I was cited with failure to yield at intersection, yet the accident occurred 200 feet prior to intersection and, If I interpret MA law correctly, a parking lot is not a "way" consistent with the RMV driving manual and a parking lot entering into a public way does not constitute an intersection. Is that correct?

    MGL C 89 S 24: Upon entering the roadway the driver shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching on the roadway. Existing a parking lot and taking a left hand turn requires the driver to provide the right of way to ANY oncoming traffic.

    So why am I, not the driver leaving the parking lot, being found at fault? Thank you .

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting dljncm
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    Police say I was not in a legal lane (40 feet prior to solid white line) yet I was not cited for that infraction. Does that matter?
    No it doesn't.

    What does your insurance company say?

    A traffic ticket does not assign fault, it's just a ticket.

    Based upon your description it was the truck driver's fault. He was exiting a parking lot and was required to yield to traffic on the road. I am not clear on HOW the truck hit you if there was traffic stopped in the right lane.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting dljncm
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    So why am I, not the driver leaving the parking lot, being found at fault?
    Go to Google Maps aerial view, pinpoint the location, and provide a link to it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Google maps.

    Any way of attachment photos?

    Thank you for your reply. I dropped collision in February because truck turned 15 so I only have PIP open.

    Other carrier is basing position on PR.

    Traffic in right lane was stopped with one car allowing a partial opening for parking lot.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    I have enough from the Google Maps for my analysis for the two cents that it's worth.

    Let's start with the citation.

    Chapter 89 Section 8. When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection of any ways, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, at approximately the same instant, the operator of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...ter89/Section8

    I don't see that section applying to you as I believe that applies to you having to yield the right of way to a vehicle coming from a cross street at right angles to you.

    In a 1978 case decision the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said:

    The rule of right of way at intersections is set forth in G.L.c. 89, § 8. General Laws c. 89, § 8, reads: "Every driver of a motor or other vehicle approaching an intersection of any ways, which for the purposes hereof shall mean the area embraced within the extensions of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines, of intersecting ways as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall grant the right of way to a vehicle which has already entered such intersection, and every driver of a vehicle entering such an intersection shall grant the right of way to a vehicle so entering from his right at approximately the same instant;
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...en&as_sdt=4,22

    The statute seems to have changed in its wording since then but I think it still applies to cross traffic at the intersection and not to your situation.

    Based on your explanation and the Google Maps I don't think you were in violation of anything.

    Chapter 89 Section 2. Except as herein otherwise provided, the driver of a vehicle passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction shall drive a safe distance to the left of such other vehicle and shall not return to the right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle; and, if the way is of sufficient width for the two vehicles to pass, the driver of the leading one shall not unnecessarily obstruct the other. If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle or other vehicle at a safe distance in the same lane, the overtaking vehicle shall use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or wait for a safe opportunity to overtake. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on visible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

    The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles, overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement.
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...ter89/Section2

    So, if you had sufficient space between the car on your right and the double yellow line, you did nothing for which you should have been cited.

    Based on the following view it looks like you did have plenty of room to pass.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1353...7i13312!8i6656

    I think you have a good defense against the citation.

    Moving on to fault.

    It's a given that a driver exiting a driveway must yield to traffic coming from his left or right. That is an absolute duty and a driver who fails to comply with that duty is at fault for any accident he causes.

    That cars stopped to let him through doesn't absolve him of that duty.

    The following might help you in your claim against the truck driver.

    211 CMR 74.00: STANDARDS OF FAULT TO BE USED BY THE BOARD OF APPEAL ON
    MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY POLICIES AND BONDS AND INSURERS IN PRESUMING FAULT WHEN MAKING AT FAULT DETERMINATIONS

    74.04: Standards of Fault: Circumstances in Which an Operator's Fault Is Presumed to Be More than 50%
    The following Standards of Fault shall be considered determinative that an Operator of a Private Passenger Motor Vehicle was more than 50% at fault for an Accident, unless a showing to the contrary is demonstrated by the evidence presented in the course of review of the At Fault Accident.

    (17)Leaving or Exiting from a Parked Position, Parking Lot, Alley or Driveway. The Operator, when operating a vehicle which is leaving or exiting from a parked position, parking lot, alley or driveway, thereafter collides with another vehicle.
    http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawl...r/211cmr74.pdf

    What you have to understand, though, is that the other driver's insurance company owes you nothing until a court of law finds the driver at fault and says how much. The insurance company has a right to deny your claim if it believes that its insured is not at fault.

    That means you are likely going to have to sue the other driver.

    Do you have a cost estimate for your repairs yet? Or, if a total loss, what is the market value of your car (check Kelley Blue Book website before you answer).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    As I read the situation you were driving 2 wide in a single lane. The traffic in the lane (the folks you were passing) stopped to let the truck through the stopped traffic. You, illegally passing the stopped cars, hit the truck.

    I dont see it as all the trucks fault. While a vehicle is supposed to yield to traffic on the road, if that traffic is driving illegallly, it changes things.

    And there is nothing improper with crossing a solid white line but when your supposed to choose a lane is when the road becomes 2 lanes traveling in the same direction. Yes, I'm sure everybody's drives it like it's 2 lanes as soon as it's wide enough to allow two cars side by side but legally it's a single lane until you reach the white line splitting it into two lanes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting jk
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    As I read the situation you were driving 2 wide in a single lane. The traffic in the lane (the folks you were passing) stopped to let the truck through the stopped traffic. You, illegally passing the stopped cars, hit the truck.
    He did not hit the truck, the truck hit him on the passenger side.

    I dont see it as all the trucks fault. While a vehicle is supposed to yield to traffic on the road, if that traffic is driving illegallly, it changes things.
    The truck was pulling out between stopped vehicles. My daughter was in an accident of just that nature (and the person waving her out was actually a cop, who ended up having to cite her for the accident). She was considered 100% at fault. That is also when she and I had our first serious discussion about stupid left turns...as in, one never makes a stupid left turn if there is another alternative.

    And there is nothing improper with crossing a solid white line but when your supposed to choose a lane is when the road becomes 2 lanes traveling in the same direction. Yes, I'm sure everybody's drives it like it's 2 lanes as soon as it's wide enough to allow two cars side by side but legally it's a single lane until you reach the white line splitting it into two lanes.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    He did not hit the truck, the truck hit him on the passenger side.



    The truck was pulling out between stopped vehicles. My daughter was in an accident of just that nature (and the person waving her out was actually a cop, who ended up having to cite her for the accident). She was considered 100% at fault. That is also when she and I had our first serious discussion about stupid left turns...as in, one never makes a stupid left turn if there is another alternative.
    Ok truck hit him but op was illegally driving double in a single lane.

    in your daughter's situation was there another driving lane to the left of the cop?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting jk
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    Ok truck hit him but op was illegally driving double in a single lane.
    Nope.

    When the lane is wide enough for two vehicles to occupy side by side it is legal to pass.

    There is another statute that supports that:

    Chapter 89 Section 4B. Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...er89/Section4B

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who is at Fault for a Collision With a Car Turning Left Out of a Parking Lot

    Chapter 89 Section 4B. Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.

    nope. Notice that statute speaks to lanes. There is only one lane so everybody must be in the lane closest to the right side becaus that is the only lane.

    Your other citation speaks to the "way" not the lane. The way is the entire roadway.

    From your same section of law;

    4) Overtake Only When There is a Space Ahead. The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake andpass a vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless there is sufficient clear space ahead on the rightside of the roadway to permit the overtaking to be completed without impeding the safe operation of any vehicle ahead or without causing the driver of any such vehicle to change his speed or alter hiscourse, except as provided in 720 CMR 9.06(5).
    The section speak to typical passing where one pulls to the inner lane or crosses to the lane in the opposite direction and once they have passed a vehicle in front of them returns to the right lane.


    You're stating lane splitting is legal. There is only one state I am aware where lane splitting is legal and it involves motorcycles or a motorcycle and a car , not two cars.

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