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Can my husband be sued from a parking lot incident?

Asked by user in Texas.

He was backing out of a space at a convenient store. There was an older lady straddling her motorcycle. My husband’s truck didn’t make contact with her or her motorcycle but she thought he was going to and leaned her bike to the side and said her knee was hurting from the weight of the bike. Can she sue us for personal injury? Should we get a copy of the video from the outside store cameras?

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

In order to hold your husband liable for her injuries, the motorcyclist needs to prove that your husband created an unreasonable risk of harm. More specifically, she needs to establish negligence by proving 3 elements:

  1. Duty. The motorcyclist must prove that your husband owed her a duty of care. In general, people owe a duty to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. For example, drivers owe all others on the road the duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming them.
  2. Breach. The motorcyclist must prove that your husband breached the standard of care.
  3. Causation. The motorcyclist must prove that her injury was caused by your husband’s breach of the standard of care.

In this case, it doesn’t sound like your husband acted unreasonably. He looked before he backed up and stopped before he made contact with the woman. Although the woman certainly has a right to sue your husband, I think she would have a very difficult time proving that your husband was negligent.

It wouldn’t hurt to obtain the security footage and the contact information for any witnesses, but it’s hard for me to say how likely it is the woman will file a lawsuit without knowing more.

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Laura Brown

Laura Brown has dedicated her career to being an advocate for individuals, children and families who have been hurt due to another person's negligence. In 2000, she launched her own personal injury law firm to focus on cases in Texas and nationwide, and she is especially passionate about birth injuries.

Laura attended Baylor University as an undergraduate premedical student, graduating with a degree in biology. Though she was destined to be a trial lawyer like her father and grandfather before her, her pre-med background was the perfect training for her ultimate calling: fighting for the victims of negligence. She was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992 and has served her community ever since.

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