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What Happens If You Hit A Car That Is Illegally Parked?

Legally, it's a tricky situation. But first, where did this take place?

By Ahmed A.Published 2 years ago 3 min read
What Happens If You Hit A Car That Is Illegally Parked?
Photo by Innis Borovnica on Unsplash

Car accidents can happen in many different ways. For a lot of accidents, it’s challenging to prove without a reasonable doubt who was responsible for the incident. In some cases, drivers on both ends of the accident share the fault.

When it comes to hitting a parked car, different questions arise than normal car crashes. Often, the other driver wouldn’t be on the scene to exchange contact information. But who does the fault fall upon? Well, in some cases, both drivers share the liability.

Nevada follows a comparative fault law that allows you to recover damages in a personal injury case so long as one or more of the other parties were at least 50% responsible for the injury or accident. If the parked car was parked illegally and you struck it, the fault shouldn’t solely fall on you. In any case, consult with a legal professional to understand your options and get answers to all your legal questions.

Who Is Liable For The Damage If The Car Was Illegally Parked?

In most common accidents, the person driving the car that struck a stationary vehicle would be liable for the damages. It’s the driver’s responsibility to avoid any obstacles they come across on the road.

However, if the stationary car that was struck was parked illegally, the liability gets a little more complicated. The state of Nevada uses a contributory negligence law. This means that two or more parties in an accident could share the fault for the accident and still recover damages.

In this case, questions regarding the position of the stationary car are going to unravel the amount of liability each party needs to take.

The owner of the stationary car might be partially at fault for failing to obey the rules of the road and parking illegally. The owner of the other vehicle could be found liable for driver distraction or negligence since he failed to avoid the crash.

Another issue that arises is the location of the accident. Since a number of parking lot accidents take place on private property, most people aren’t sure what their options are to recover damages. According to William Brim, an attorney in Las Vegas, “Many people are concerned that accidents on private property are immune from personal injury claims. When negligence causes injuries, no matter where it happens, you can make a personal injury claim.”

What To Do If You’ve Struck An Illegally Parked Car

All drivers on the road have duties to fulfill in the case of a car accident. State traffic laws in Nevada and across the country require drivers that are involved in accidents to remain on the scene and fulfill their full duties before leaving the scene. Failing to do so might risk a criminal charge of a hit-and-run.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with an illegally parked vehicle, follow these steps:

  • Call the police. In the case of any injuries caused by the accident to humans or property, you need to contact the police to officially report the accident.
  • Attempt to find the owner. If you’ve struck an illegally parked car in a shopping center parking lot for example, attempt to locate the owner if possible. If you weren’t successful after waiting or looking for a few minutes, leave a note to the driver.
  • Leave a note with your information. To fix this at a later time, leave a note with all of your contact and insurance information to later mitigate the issue.
  • Take lots of photos. Having photographic evidence of the illegally parked vehicle would strongly benefit your case. Take photos of the accident’s damage and the surrounding area.
  • Initiate a claim with your insurance company. Explain what happened in detail and provide the photos you took but make sure you do not admit fault for the collision.
  • Get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney would answer all your questions and give you legal assistance and advice.

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About the Creator

Ahmed A.

Ahmed spends parts of his day writing about safety, cars, health, and fitness. The rest of his time is spent juggling between working out and cooking Michelin-star dishes!

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