Car Pulling Out of Driveway Caused my Accident, But No Stop Sign: Who is Liable?

- Mark Caruso

Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney Discusses Liability When Pulling Out of Private Driveway

All motor vehicle accidents can be frustrating—no one plans to be in an accident.  Yet, they are a fact of life.  Motor vehicle accidents can be particularly frustrating when one driver makes a simple, risky, or unintelligent mistake or error which causes the accident.  One such type of mistake is pulling out of a private driveway, which can sometimes be very difficult on a busy street as there is no signage to assist motorists.  But this is a common place for motor vehicle accidents to occur, and these types of accidents can cause serious injuries or death.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we understand the frustration that the victim of a car accident may be feeling when another motorist makes a negligent mistake and causes the car accident.  We help to alleviate the stress and burdens a victim may be feeling so he or she can focus on recovery.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in an Albuquerque car accident, please contact us for a FREE case evaluation by calling (505) 883-5000.

Liability When Pulling Out of a Private Driveway: Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney Explains

A common type of car accident is when a vehicle emerging from a private driveway attempts to merge with traffic and causes an accident.  This can be a difficult maneuver where it is a blind driveway, on a busy road, or on a roadway with a high speed limit.  It can be made even more dangerous when the person emerging from the private driveway is rushing because he or she is late to work or for an appointment.  This is a recipe for serious collisions and debilitating injuries or death, especially if there is a tractor trailer truck, semi, or other large truck involved in the accident.

But there is usually no signage, so what happens when someone pulling out of a private driveway causes a motor vehicle accident?

New Mexico law makes it clear on the obligations of motorists and places the blame on the motorist leaving the private driveway.  Under NM Stat 66-7-346, the driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, driveway, or building must stop immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or driveway, and must yield to the right-of-way of any pedestrians using the sidewalk and to all approaching vehicles on the roadway.  This section of law makes it clear that vehicles leaving private driveways must first stop and then yield to all other pedestrians and vehicles before attempting to merge.

Motorists Pulling Out of Private Driveways Without Stopping or Yielding Are Negligent

Therefore, if you were on the roadway and a motor vehicle pulled out of a driveway without stopping or yielding to your right-of-way, that merging vehicle may be negligent as a matter of law.  Negligence is where a person breaches a duty of care owed to other people which causes damages.  In this scenario it is clear that a motorist would be negligent by failing to avoid a collision before merging onto the roadway.

There is also the doctrine of negligence per se, which finds a person negligent for violating a statute which protects against a certain harm and protects a certain class of persons.  Here, any pedestrian or other vehicle on the roadway which is caused injuries due to a motorist pulling out of a private driveway will classify as the certain harm and class of persons.  Meaning, the motorist who pulls out of the private driveway without stopping and yielding may be found to be automatically negligent as a matter of law for violating the statute.

Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Albuquerque car accident, call the experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000.  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.