Can a 10 mph accident cause frame damage?

I owned a 2017 toyota corolla and was backing out of my parking spot at a stores parking lot when a man in a 2016 toyota tundra rear end my car on the rear right side of my car. My cars bumper completely flew off and the impact shifted my car in 45 degree angle. My rear windshield completely shattered, and my frame was bent to the point where the left rear passengers door was stuck shut and could not open. The man that hit claimed to have been going 10 mph and his insurance company is trying to put me 80% at fault. However I’m sure he was going at least 30 mph which is way over the speed limit in a parking lot.
please tell me what you think?


Definitely faster than 10 mph,

Speed limits, stop signs, one way signs and any other traffic control signs in parking lots are not enforceable, (private property) so it doesn’t matter how fast he was going.

The vehicle that is backing up is almost always 100% responsible, so they are probably going to come after your insurance for damages to his truck also.


+1 to all of It_s_Me’s points


Go to the store and get their security camera video of the parking lot if they have it. If you can show that he was speed-racing around the parking lot you might be able to at least partially get out of this.

While parking lot speed limits aren’t legally enforceable, that doesn’t mean people can speed with reckless abandon absent all consequences. He might not get a ticket, but your insurance company won’t be happy to see that he was driving so stupidly.


He was going way faster than 10 MPH to do that. I agree with shadowfax about trying to get some camera footage. If it shows he was driving like an idiot you might have a bit of an out. Without camera footage showing some lunacy I think you’re going to be on the hook for this.

As with most things like this, push can lead to shove and the final word in an accident dispute is the court and a jury.

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I like @shadowfax’s idea of getting the surveillance camera video. It seems to me that if you were half way out of the spot, then the approaching driver should have had plenty of time to stop. They should bear partial if not full responsibility for the accident.

I’ve had something similar happen to me more than once. I’m a quarter to half way out of a spot and some fool drives right past me like I’m not there. These are usually nice looking cars, and I can’t believe that they are looking for a chump to buy them a new car.

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My assigned parking spot in the faculty parking lot at my school was located in a place where it was essentially impossible for me to back into the parking space, so I had no choice but to back out of it at the end of the work day. Each day, I had to swivel my head constantly (almost like the girl in The Exorcist :wink:) in order to avoid being hit by the cars zooming through the parking lot, even though I was already 1/4 to 1/2 way out of my parking space.

Even with extreme caution on my part, I did come very close to being hit on several occasions. And, before anyone jumps to the conclusion that the offenders were the students, I can assure you that almost all of them were Mommy Dearest, in her late-model SUV.


One possibility if push comes to shove (and depending upon the year/make of the other vehicle) is pulling data from the ECM which would likely show how fast it was really going. Claiming to only be doing 10 MPH is downright laughable.

This happened not many years ago here in OK when 4 high school students in an SUV left the roadway to avoid hitting a turning oil tanker truck. One student was killed and others were injured. Some were quick to blame the truck driver.
Some 6 months or so later it was revealed that data pulled from the ECM showed that SUV was doing 98 MPH when it left the roadway; and this was on a narrow 2-lane that was posted 45 MPH.
Just some food for thought if legalities come into play.


I agree 100%… Legally, the Corolla owner is responsable for the accident.

Thankfully, speed bumps are gaining popularity in parking lots.


Had the truck driver already been fired and ostracized by all his neighbours and friends by then . . . ?!

Sometimes the truth emerges too late to undo damages . . . to reputation . . . which have already occurred

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Every state is a little different but the idea of contributory negligence is alive and well in American law. You backing out of a parking space is not by itself negligent, but the driver of a vehicle going down the row has the right of way. On the other hand, anyone driving down a row of cars in a parking lot certainly must be on the lookout for someone backing out, and driving so fast that they can’t stop if that happens is reckless and negligent.

There are plenty of people who would be able to estimate the speed of the guy that hit you based on the damage, and the electronic sensor in the truck should have it, too.

You should talk to an attorney. It costs no money to have an appointment with an attorney to discuss the case. These sorts of cases are the bread and butter of lots of attorney’s practices.


Definitely go to the store ASAP and politely ask for a copy of the surveillance video. Bring a large blank USB thumb drive for them to copy the file to.

Depending on the type of DVR they use, the footage may be overwritten as soon as 7 days after the incident (most common in a business is 30 days). If they refuse to provide it, you will need to file a lawsuit against the other driver in order to have the right to subpoena the evidence. You will need to act fast.


The unfortunate reality is that when the liability laws were writtenn no cars had tinted windows and SUVs were non existent. If you have to back out of a parking place now, it is quite likely that you cannot see traffic coming down the row at all, but they can see you and they have the best opportunity of avoiding the collision.

I honestly don’t know how to fix the problem, possibly a wide angle backup camera, but right now the law does not seem to be fair the the person backing, but I also would not want to see all the responsibility shifted to the person driving down the lane because he cannot stop people backing into him.


That was my first impression too. Regardless of how fast the other driver was going, it’s up to the person doing the backing to make sure the lane is clear. I think the 80/20 split is providing some consolation for the other guy not stopping or being able to stop, but by and large I think arguing about it is a losing proposition. Very very significant damage can be done at 15,20 or so MPH, especially when hitting a vulnerable and unprotected part of the car. The quarter panel and roof are just sheet metal without much reinforcement when hit from the side.

Years ago, it was just the opposite for me, driving down the lane when a kid just zoomed out of his parking place and hitting the quarter panel of my 74 Olds. Significant damage and although it seemed like he was going 60 at the time, I’m sure it was no more than 5 or 10 in the 20 feet or so of his travel. Seems to me we both had State Farm so there was no issue with who paid.

Getting upset after an accident is just normal but the sooner you put it all behind you the better. Your car though is a total loss so spend your time finding a new one in the color of your choice. Just in my humble opinion but life is too short to stay upset for too long.

Just as an additional comment, it’s hard to tell but it doesn’t look like the front end on the other car is all that bad, suggesting maybe it wasn’t going all that fast. Still a lot of damage and if the air bag went off.

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Shouldn’t the OPs insurer take care of all this, including obtaining the parking lot footage?

That’s the main reason I always park out on the edge of the lot and walk while parking nose out. I agree that backing out usually leads to guilt but what if the OP was backing out and in the clear when the person who hit them came barreling around a corner and thought of that row as Thunder Valley drag strip? Security cameras could mean a lot.

In the incident I mentioned of the HS kids hitting the oil tanker a blind man could have seen what caused it. No idea why an investigation took 6 months.
The view from above from the news helicopter showed the semi in the middle of a left turn. The SUV came over the rise doing near a 100 and faced with hitting the truck or veering they chose to veer. That led to hitting a large tree which did not move one inch. The truck driver was blameless although it did not take long for one of the local TV stations to do an “Eighteen wheels of death” expose’ although this incident was not mentioned specifically. Tragic, but someone in that car should have brought things to a halt before this happened.

I’ve ridden that road a number of times on a motorcycle and it’s a bit dangerous even at 45 MPH and no shoulders to speak of.

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It’s fixed, but you’ve gotta get a newer car to get the fix. Backup cameras are wide-angle, and some newer cars also have a gizmo called rear cross-traffic alert that has sensors in the rear bumper which scan for approaching traffic from the sides when you’re in reverse.

I believe the process will be the OP’s insurance will replace their car either with or without a deductible, then if they choose to recover damages they will do so through subrogation. That could take a year or more and if they choose to pursue it and recover damages, the OP would be reimbursed for their deductible.

I remember having a staff member at work being very upset when she had an accident with a company car and then over a year later we had to drag it all up again to fight subrogation attempts by the other insurance company. There must be a statute of limitation but I don’t know what it is so this whole thing could go on for years. Then if there was an injury . . .

That is also my practice.
A bit more walking is good for me, and a bit more…spacing… is good for my car.

What never ceases to fascinate me is the phenomenon of people who park in “the rear space”–with nobody in front of them–and who back out of that space when they return, even if there is still nobody parked in front of them.