If I backed into a car that was illegally parked in a fire lane, who is at fault and responsible for the damages?

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If I backed into a car that was illegally parked in a fire lane, who is at fault and responsible for the damages?

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would be liable for negligence for backing into the parked car and would be responsible for the damages and cost of repairs to that vehicle.

If you live in a comparative negligence state, you may be able to argue that you should not be held one hundred percent liable because the car was illegally parked.  Comparative negligence finds both parties at fault and assesses a percentage of liability to the at fault parties.  The following numbers are for purposes of an example and the actual numbers may be different.  Under comparative negligence, if your liability is 80% and the illegally parked car's owner is determined to be 20% liable, then you would only be responsible for 80% of the damage to the parked car and the other party would be responsible for 20% of the damage to your car.

If your state follows comparative negligence, your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company can work out the extent of liability of the parties.  If it is not resolved, it can be litigated in court.  In any event, your insurance company will be paying for the damage to the parked car.

 


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