What are my rights to reimbursement if a property owner’s negligence caused damage to my car?

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What are my rights to reimbursement if a property owner’s negligence caused damage to my car?

A property owner had a metal rod inserted into the ground by their mailbox which was only visible in daylight (it was sticking out of the ground about 5 inches). I was backing out of their driveway at night and hit the rod doing $2134.00 worth of damage to my car. I would like for them to be responsible for my deductible. I called the City and they suggested I contact a lawyer stating it was the property owner’s fault. I live on a fixed income and this type of expense is difficult to recover from. Do I have case in which the property owner would be held responsible?

Asked on June 12, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends where the rod was inserted. If it was on the driveway (i.e. where cars are expected to drive), then it may well have been negligent, or unreasonably careless, to put it there and you may be entitled to compensation. But if it was not on the driveway itself but was, for example, on the lawn or yard next to the driveway, the owner would not be liable for damage to your car, since he did not violate any duty of care--one is not under a duty of care to prevent damage to cars which are not where they should be.


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