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  • Would you get into trouble if...

    You were backing out of your garage on your own property, but didn't look in your rearview mirror and you ran over a kid or another person. Would it be your fault? Because, technically, he shouldn't have been on YOUR property in the first place, right?

  • #2
    Good luck arguing that one at the civil trial. It all depends on how you backed out of the garage. If you slammed on the gas and flew out of there, then yes, you could be at fault.

    There are too many variables, such as, the size of your lot, most people expect someone to walk across their yard/driveway from time to time (paperboy, mailman, gas meter reader etc) Unless your property is surrounded by a very high security fence, any one can walk in that area.

    I say this assuming you are speaking of an average size suburban lot.

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    • #3
      Well, what if it was just some random person that had no reason at all to be on your property at all, and you aren't by a busy street where people normally don't walk on your property. Or some drunk guy, or something.

      Comment


      • #4
        You worry about really wierd stuff,
        It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not run over people with a car, and if you live in California you would probably be responsible if a guy stole you car and ran over himself with it.

        Seriously it could be as bad as negligent homicide depending on the circumstances.
        Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Capn Circus
          You were backing out of your garage on your own property, but didn't look in your rearview mirror and you ran over a kid or another person. Would it be your fault? Because, technically, he shouldn't have been on YOUR property in the first place, right?
          Yes, it would be your fault.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Capn Circus
            You were backing out of your garage on your own property, but didn't look in your rearview mirror and you ran over a kid or another person. Would it be your fault? Because, technically, he shouldn't have been on YOUR property in the first place, right?
            My first response was "Are you f*cking kidding??" and I think I will stick with it.
            When I'll be the girl that you love, you'll be the boy that I hate...

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            • #7
              Yes it would be your fault.

              The driveway like the sidewalk is a public access point to the property and you would not be able to argue that the person does not belong there.

              If that were the case I have a brother in law I would have backed over years ago and pulled up then backed up etc etc

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              • #8
                No, I'm not worrying about this... it has absolutely nothing to do with me, it's just and interesting question. Thanks for the answers! :-)

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                • #9
                  Property owners have a duties they owe to trespassers, they vary from state to state, but that would not be a good situation to be in. It all depends on the circumstances, though...

                  Was it possible to see the person (was it 3am in the morning or was there heavy fog/snow/rain)? Was the person in an unreasonable place (laying on the ground for instance)? Did the person cause the incident to occur (running through your property, tripping under the tire at the same instant you were backing out)?

                  I'm not sure what the criminal situation would be like where you live, but as far as your civil liability comparative (contributory) negligence, your fault compared to the victim's fault would be evaluated and in most states be used to determine whether or not you were liable and if so to what extent.

                  Lookup "duty to trespasser" "comparative negligence" or variations for more information.
                  Last edited by ctt; 10-08-2005, 10:23 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Regardless of blame, isn't there the duty of a driver of a motor vehicle to drive with due regard for others, be they pedestrians or motorists? Was the kid who was hit on the sidewalk so often part of one's driveway? If I were serving on a jury, taking into considration all that is taught by driving instructors as basics for driving and common sense I would have to say that safety is job one when you are behind the wheel. You are controlling a potenially deadly weapon and are expected to control it as to avoid a situation where great harm or death could occur.
                    What is it with folks checking to see if it is OK to drive unsafely (refering to an earlier legal help post), if ya have to ask don't do it!
                    "A Nation without Borders is not a Nation."
                    - Ronald Reagan

                    "Every immigrant that comes here should be required, within five years, to learn English or leave the country." -Theodore Roosevelt

                    "Liberalism is a mental disease." - Mike Savage

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bodie
                      The driveway like the sidewalk is a public access point to the property and you would not be able to argue that the person does not belong there.
                      Yup. And the side walk from the driveway or street to your front door too.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SO535
                        Yup. And the side walk from the driveway or street to your front door too.
                        Doesn't that depend on what the person is doing there? If the person is on your driveway attempting to break into your garage he is a trespasser. If the person is on your driveway in the course of walking to your front door for a legal purpose he is not a trespasser, but is referred to as a licensee, I believe.

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                        • #13
                          Uh oh, we found the "what if" guy.
                          It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses....Hit it!

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                          • #14
                            I can only say what the situation would be in the State Of Georgia. My academy failed to teach me Missouri law.

                            Does the UPS man get a license or even ask permission??
                            Last edited by SO535; 10-09-2005, 03:50 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SO535
                              I can only say what the situation would be in the State Of Georgia. My academy failed to teach me Missouri law.

                              Does the UPS man get a license or even ask permission??
                              You do not need to acquire a physical license, it is just the term used to describe a person, in a specific class, on another's property. The duty owed to a licensee is that is unknown to the property owner is similar to that of a trespasser, according to Georgia law.

                              The driveway is the property owner's property, it is not public property. If the property owner tells the person to leave and they do not, the licensee or invitee becomes a trespasser. If the property owner does not know that the person is there, he can only be held liable if he knows of dangerous conditions and fails to remedy them.

                              You always have the duty to act with reasonable caution, regardless of whether you know there are others on your property. It's not a black and white issue of "you in car + pedestrian = you are at fault."

                              http://www.premisesclaims.com/Law_Gu...0of%20Claimant

                              Uh oh, we found the "what if" guy.
                              Right. =) What the person is doing and the circumstances would surely be taken into account. His scenario lacked enough detail for anyone to give a definitive answer.
                              Last edited by ctt; 10-09-2005, 04:49 PM.

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