When hitting a parked car, the driver of the car that is moving is usually at fault. However, in some situations, the owner of the parked car may also be at fault. This could be the case if they parked illegally in a tow-away zone or did not completely pull over to the side of the road.
Figuring out who is at fault for hitting a parked car can feel overwhelming. Yet, if you hit a parked car or your immobile car was struck, our law firm can determine fault for your collision.
Determining Who Is at Fault for Hitting a Parked Car
Most of the time, determining fault in a parked car accident is relatively straightforward. One factor that can influence who is at fault is whether the car was parked legally or illegally.
When a Driver Hits a Legally Parked Car
A driver who hits a legally parked car is almost always at fault. Motorists are supposed to drive safely and be on the lookout for possible obstacles, including parked cars. If your car was legally parked in a parking spot or on the shoulder of the road, the other driver is most likely at fault.
When a Driver Hits an Illegally Parked Car
There are some situations in which the owner of the parked car is at fault. If the parked car is in an unexpected location where another person could not avoid hitting it, the car’s owner may be either partially or completely responsible.
Here are some examples that could make you liable if your car was hit:
- You parked on the shoulder with your car sticking out into traffic.
- You parked in a “no parking” zone.
- You parallel-parked incorrectly.
Of course, sometimes you cannot avoid parking illegally. This could be the case if your car broke down in the middle of the street. Even so, you have an obligation to put on your emergency lights and, if possible, push your car out of traffic.
Our team can evaluate your situation and determine who should pay for your losses.
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Georgia Operates on Contributory Negligence Rules
Georgia has laws in place that allow drivers to recover damages, even when they are partially at fault. OCGA §51-12-33 establishes Georgia’s contributory negligence policy, which states that:
- A person can recover partial damages as long as they are not more than 50% responsible for the accident.
- The amount of damages awarded will be reduced in proportion to that person’s contribution to the accident.
For example, if you were 40% responsible for the accident, you can still recover 60% of your damages. In contrast, if you were 60% responsible, you cannot collect anything.
The liable insurance company may blame you for the accident to get out of paying you. Your lawyer can present evidence showing how you were not at fault and deserve compensation.
Recoverable Damages When a Parked Car Is Hit
The overall cost of your damages will depend on many factors. If there was nobody in your car when it was hit, property damage costs will probably make up the bulk of your expenses.
In this instance, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Tow truck bills
- The cost of replacing your car
- Diminished property value
- The cost of renting a car or taking alternative modes of transportation, like rideshare services
If you were in the parked car during the collision, you could have been injured as a result. In this case, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Ambulance bills
- Emergency treatment
- Diagnostic imaging scans
- Follow-up care
- Prescription medications
- Doctor’s co-pays
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and loss of future earning capacity
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How Our Georgia Law Firm Can Help with Your Case
Your lawyer can advocate for your best interests throughout the financial recovery process after a parked car accident. We can:
- Investigate who caused the accident
- Estimate the value of your damages
- Help you file an insurance claim
- Negotiate an insurance settlement
- File a lawsuit against the other driver (if necessary)
We Can File Your Case Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
If you were injured in a parked car accident, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. OCGA §9-3-33 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits at two years. If you wait longer than that to file a lawsuit, you could forfeit your right to sue.
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Kaine Law Is Ready to Help You
If you need help figuring out who is at fault when hitting a parked car, reach out to Kaine Law by calling today. Our team has decades of experience representing people just like you. We can evaluate your case for free and recommend what you should do next. Because we work on contingency, you pay nothing unless we win your case.