What Happens if You Hit an Illegally Parked Car?
What Happens if You Hit an Illegally Parked Car?
Remember that question they used to ask in school – if a tree falls in a forest but nobody hears it, does it make a noise? Well, this question is kind of like that one. If a car isn’t supposed to be parked at all, can they sue you if you hit their car?
The answer seems like it should be no. Had they not parked illegally, they wouldn’t have to worry about people hitting their car. And, why should you have to look out for cars that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Right? Well, not really.
Just because someone is parked illegally doesn’t give you a license to crash into their car. Your duty of care doesn’t change just because the victim didn’t follow the rules. It may not seem fair, but it’s the law.
If you’ve hit an illegally parked car, you may want to call a lawyer. And, if your car is hit while parked illegally, your Texas car accident lawyer may still be able to file a claim on your behalf.
Your Texas Car Accident Lawyer Knows the Law
Thankfully, Texas car accident lawyers know the law when it comes to car accidents. They know that the law is not always fair. And sometimes, bad things happen to good people. So, although the law doesn’t prevent the illegally parked car owner to file suit, it may limit how much he can recover.
Here is how the law works in Texas when it comes to car accidents. Most car accidents are caused by negligence. If someone hits your car, you may be entitled to damages. But, if your car was illegally parked at the time of the accident, your damages may be reduced. It all depends on how responsible the court thinks each party was.
Once the court determines who was responsible for the accident, he’ll look to see if the other party was partially responsible. In a case like this, the court may find that each party is equally at fault.
The threshold for comparative negligence in Texas is 50%. You have to be more than 50% at fault in order to be denied recovery. So, if a court finds that you are exactly half at fault, you can still file suit. Just expect your damages to be reduced by half.
Your Texas Car Accident Lawyer Will Have to Prove Negligence
In order to recover for the damage caused to your car, you’ll need to prove negligence. Your Texas car accident lawyer will have to demonstrate the following:
- The driver who hit your car owed you a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You suffered an injury
- This injury was caused by the defendant’s breach
Here, your Texas car accident lawyer should be able to prove your case.
The defendant had a duty to watch out for parked cars, illegal or otherwise. If they drive carefully, they shouldn’t any cars at all. If they breach their duty of careful driving, they could ed up hitting your parked car. This will cause some damage to your vehicle. You are entitled to some compensation for the costs to repair or replace your car.
Keep in mind, however, that although your lawyer can prove negligence, it doesn’t mean you will be off the hook.
Your Texas Car Accident Lawyer Will Have to Deal with Comparative Negligence
The first thing the defendant in this case will do is claim that the accident was your fault. Had you to parked your car illegally, it never would’ve been hit. Not only will he claim that he isn’t responsible for your damages. He will also argue that you should be held responsible for the damage to his car. And, he could be right.
Your car accident lawyer is going to have to overcome this argument. He’ll have to prove that the defendant was more at fault than you. Otherwise, if both parties are found to be equally at fault, the claims will offset. Both parties will be told to address their own damages.
There are situations where your lawyer can show that your car being parked illegally had nothing to do with the accident. These cases are few and far between. So be prepared for whatever decision the court makes.
Contact a Texas Accident Lawyer Today
If your car has been hit by another driver, you may have a claim for damages in Texas. Call and speak with a Texas car accident lawyer right away to discuss your case. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call and schedule your initial consultation. It is free and it gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.
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