Collisions With An Illegally Parked Car: Who Is At Fault?


When you hit a car that is parked, you might assume that you are at fault for the accident. After all, there was no one behind the wheel of the other car. However, if the car is parked illegally, the other driver may also be partially at fault for the accident. If the other car was parked in a location where there was no way you could possibly see it, that driver may be fully responsible for the accident.

Illegally Parked Cars and Auto Accidents

Imagine driving 60 miles per hour when you suddenly discover a car parked illegally in the middle of the road. It's dark outside and the vehicle doesn't have its lights on, so you are unable to see it. You crash into the car and both vehicles are severely damaged. 

Parking Laws

Motorists are restricted on where they are allowed to park. For example, while motorists may be allowed to park on the street, they are barred from parking in front of crosswalks, fire lanes, and any areas prohibited due to a "no parking" sign. 

Comparative Fault

For a party to be considered at fault for an accident, they must have behaved in a negligent manner. In a case involving a collision with an illegally parked car, both you and the other motorist may be considered partially at fault. The percentage to where you are considered at fault will determine which insurance provider pays for the damages.

For example, if the courts determine that you are 50% at fault for the accident, both insurance providers may pay for the damage suffered by the policyholder of the insured vehicles. However, if the courts determine that you are only 25% responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to partial compensation. 

Drivers Are Usually at Fault

Regardless of how illegally parked, you still had the last opportunity to prevent the accident. Therefore, the courts are more likely to hold you responsible for the accident. However, this depends on whether your jurisdiction follows the "last clear chance" doctrine. Many states have abandoned this doctrine and are willing to hold the owner of the parked car at fault.

An auto accident lawyer will assist you in filing a personal injury claim against the other driver. You will need to seek medical treatment for your injuries and your lawyer will then need to make a case for why your injuries were the result of the collision.

For more information, reach out to a local auto accident lawyer.


30 July 2020

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