What to do if while driving through a parking lot an unsecured metal gate swung open and hit my car damaging it?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if while driving through a parking lot an unsecured metal gate swung open and hit my car damaging it?

It was a windy day. Now, 3 weeks later it is still unsecured and the owner of the enclosure refuses to talk to me. My insurance won’t pay because the cost is under my deductible ($697). Is the owner liable?

Asked on April 29, 2015 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The owner *may* be liable. It depends on whether the owner was at fault. That in turn depends on:

1) Did some other person, not under the owner's control, leave the gate unsecured? If someone not under the owner's control left the gate unsecured, the owner is not liable.

2) Even if some third party was not at fault, the owner would only be liable if the owner knew, or reasonably should have known (under the circumstances, essentially must have known) that the gate was unsecured (e.g that it didn't latch properly) and was a hazard before it hit your car. If they did not know there was a hazard, there would not be liable, since they would not have done anything wrong. (Note: if an employee of the owner left it unsecured, that would make the owner liable, since an employer is liable for his/her/its employee's actions.)

Even if the owner would be liable, if they do not pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them to get the money, which may not be cost effective.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption