How do you decide who's at fault in an accident?

Here's a link for advice on determining who is at fault in a car accident.

Besides the website recommended above, you should consider point-of-impact, whether the alley is one way or two way, and what a reasonably prudent driver would be expected to do in this situation.

In your case, the point-of-impact is very telling. It's one thing to hit the rear corner of a car backing down an alley, but it's quite another to hit that car on a door. Your neighbor, even while backing, probably had the greater duty since you clearly had control of the roadway.

If there's any comparative negligence on your part, it would be minimal unless the alley is one way and statutes specifically prohibit backing in such a location. A statute of this type could be used as a defense for your neighbor because the statute would have been created with just this scenario in mind (i.e., don't back down a one way alley because most people wouldn't think to look more than once in that direction).

Another thing to consider: Your neighbor basically struck the middle of your car. She has a duty to watch for oncoming traffic. Clearly she wasn't watching. Now, suppose that had been a person? What would her defense be?

Fault is determined partially by the laws of your state.

Contributory Negligence Comparative Negligence

Under which of these systems does your state operate.

In one...the person who is 51% at fault will pay for all damage. In the other a percentage of blame is assigned and each pays that percent of the others damage.

It could also be a NO-Fault state in which your own company pay regardless of who is at fault.

General rule of thumb....the person with control of the "roadway" has right of movement. Anyone entering the roadway must yeild to the ongoing traffic.

A smart attorney could argue a case that alley's are not roadways.

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