Can I directly go after an apartment complex’s insurance to cover damages to a vehicle?

UPDATED: May 19, 2009

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Can I directly go after an apartment complex’s insurance to cover damages to a vehicle?

I pulled into my apartment complex and tbe concrete bumper damaged my car. The steel was sticking out of the concrete and got caught under my car causing damage. The complex wants me to file a claim with my insurance and I believe I should not have to. Is there something that I may refer to for the state of Virginia for my issue?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Accident Law, Virginia


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Take a picture of the piece of steel that was sticking out, before the apartment complex fixes it!  Get two or three views;  if you can use a yardstick or tape measure, to show how far it sticks out and how far above the ground it is, even better.  Sometimes, the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," is a serious understatement.

You should talk to an attorney in your area, if you don't want to put this through your insurance.  You may be able to find a lawyer who can help you on our website,

The basic principle of law is that a landowner must keep the premises reasonably safe for people who are invited and expected to be there.  The problem is that the landowner isn't expected to be perfect, they just have to not be careless ("negligent," in legalese).  And if your own carelessness is part of the reason for the damage to your car, that may limit your ability to get paid, or bar it completely.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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