Driving through residential areas presents unique issues of liability due to the many driveways, alleys, and parked vehicles along the roadways. Two of Fannin Litigation’s recent cases are perfect examples of some of the risks presented by driveways in particular:
While pulling into his driveway, our client, the 39-year-old male plaintiff, was rear-ended by a vehicle following too closely. The collision, which occurred in March of 2017, resulted in severe headaches, neck pain, back pain, shoulder strain, and memory issues. The plaintiff required over 60 sessions of chiropractic treatments, which failed to provide complete relief. The liability insurance carrier for the other driver disputed the fault of their insured and presented various case theories to try to avoid paying the claim. Before litigation was initiated, the insurance company was only willing to offer $8,000. After arbitration in August of 2020, the plaintiff was awarded $46,000.
In August of 2015, two vehicles were backing out of driveways on opposite sides of the street. One driver reversed so far, he crossed the centerline and rear-ended the plaintiff, our client. The plaintiff, a 57-year-old male, suffered injury to his back and pelvis. As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff lost his job and developed a limp. His injuries required extensive medical intervention and caused him to incur over $57,000 in medical bills. Prior to filing a case in the Spokane County Superior Court, the liability insurance carrier for the at-fault driver disputed liability. Within three months of initiating litigation, the parties agreed to settle the case for the liability insurance policy limit. After reaching the settlement with the at-fault driver, Pat Fannin representing the plaintiff successfully mediated with the driver’s insurance company to recover an additional $45,000 under the underinsured motorist coverage.
When driving in residential areas, it is important to ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to mitigate your own liability. As you drive through residential areas, it’s important to be alert for cars pulling out of and into driveways. Simply being aware of your surroundings as you enter the roadway can help you prevent accidents! Make sure you always use your signal with plenty of time to spare before exiting any roadway and leave plenty of space behind the car in front of you to avert rear-end accidents.