Who is liable for damages if you are driving down a public road and a golf ball damages you car from an adjacent golf course?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is liable for damages if you are driving down a public road and a golf ball damages you car from an adjacent golf course?

My wife was driving home from work. She was driving down a street next to a golf course. out of nowhere, a golf ball hit the hood of her car, and damaged it. She saw who hit the ball but was unable to stop and get information. She called the golf course and they said that our insurance should cover it. It doesn’t seem fair that I have to have a claim.

Asked on June 20, 2019 under Accident Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you don't have a claim. A golf course is not liable for what its golfers do--it is not their insurer, so to speak. You don't know what hit the ball, so you don't know who to press a claim against. And even if you did know who the golfer was, he or she would only be liable if doing something unreasonably careless or reckless, like "for fun" trying to hit balls into the road or out of the course. Someone is only liable if at fault, and there is no fault to playing golf normally. Unfortunately, sometimes you incur costs and no one else is liable.

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