In many cases, the person who hit a parked car is at fault. However, the details matter. If the car was parked illegally or the accident involved additional circumstances, another party could be liable, including the owner of the vehicle. Our car accident lawyers can sift through the details to get to the truth.
Was the Car Parked Legally?
If a car was parked or stopped legally when hit, the person who hit it is often the one liable. Fault is determined based on if someone was negligent—by being careless, they failed to uphold their duty to avoid causing harm.
Careless acts that could leave a driver liable for hitting a legally parked car include distracted driving or driving under the influence. A driver texting or fiddling with their GPS who then hits a parked car was careless and therefore negligent. That puts them at fault for the accident and leaves them on the hook for the other car owner’s expenses.
If the Car Was Parked Illegally
Determining fault in this scenario could be more complicated. Generally, if a driver is parked where they shouldn’t be, they are being careless by ignoring the rules of the road. This includes parking:
- In no-parking zones
- In an entrance or roadway
- On the shoulder of a road
- Outside of a designated parking space
Someone who parks diagonally in a parallel parking space, with part of their vehicle sticking out into the road, cannot be surprised when they find their parked car has been hit. Likewise, if part or all a vehicle is blocking an entrance or exit to a roadway or home, the owner of the illegally parked car could be liable for the damage.
Exceptions do exist. For instance, after an accident, you may have to move your car onto a shoulder or into a no-parking zone, especially if it will prevent another accident. These are extenuating circumstances. If your parked car was struck in this situation, the person who hit you could be at fault.
Consequently, don’t assume you are completely and automatically at fault if you parked illegally. Other factors could influence liability.
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What if Your Car Was Struck by an Object?
Your car doesn’t need to be hit by another car to provide the basis for a claim or lawsuit. Scenarios that could cause damage to a parked car and leave another party at fault include:
- Construction site debris
- Tree limbs
- Home renovation accidents
- Recreational activities
Property owners, construction crews, and even government entities must uphold their duty of care to prevent harm and damage to others. Lack of signage about dangers, negligence at a construction job site, failure to clean up landscaping debris after a storm, or carelessness while playing a game could all leave someone at fault for damage to a parked car and/or its occupants.
Navigating Cases Like These
Getting clarity on these types of cases can be complicated, involving issues like premises liability, product liability, and personal injury. This can make the statute of limitations difficult to determine for laymen.
Our auto accident lawyers can investigate your case to piece together what happened and who was responsible. We can also determine how long you have to take legal action against who was at fault for hitting your parked car.
How Can an Attorney Help With Parked Car Accidents?
We can do more than help you understand the statute of limitations in your case. Our lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, interviewing witnesses, obtaining traffic or security footage, and consulting experts to determine fault.
Moreover, if you were in the car when it was hit and sustained injuries, we can help you pursue damages. The Georgia Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire notes that drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability. Yet a three-day hospitalization alone could soar up to $30,000 according to Healthcare.gov.
While most parked car accidents are minor, serious ones can cause severe injuries and damage to your vehicle. With those high price tags, both personally and financially, you could use support. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can provide it.
Understanding Georgia’s Liability Laws
In addition to helping with investigation and damages, our attorneys can explain how your case fits into Georgia’s liability laws. The state’s approach to negligence can result in fault being shared between parties after a collision (O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33).
In those cases, injured parties can seek damages only if their contribution to the accident was less than 50 percent. Parked car cases can be straightforward in this respect, but some complications can arise. We can address those with you.
Investigating Hit-and-Runs and Other Mysteries
If you weren’t present in the vehicle when it was hit by another car or an object, you may not know who caused the damage. Our team can explore your other options for paying for your losses, as well as coordinate with police and other resources to track down the culprit.
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Let Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Look into Your Parked Car Accident
Each case is different, but our lawyers can work to determine who is at fault when a parked car is hit. Contact our team today with your questions and receive a free case evaluation.