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I hit a parked car on private property, do I have to pay?

Grand Rapids, MI |

I was driving a rented Penske truck rented out in my business' name. I heard since it was on private property the person I hit can not get money from me, is this true?

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Attorney answers 6


Every person has a duty to practice ordinary care toward others. A breach of this duty, referred to as tort, whether intentionally or by negligence, results in liability to the person damaged. There is no distinction whether the tort was committed on private or public property. If the accident happened while you were in the course and scope of your employment, however, your employer is also vicariously liable. The injured party could still legally try to collect from you, but as a practical matter, it is usually easier to make the claim against the employer. Sounds like a matter that would be covered by your employer's insurance. If the accident happened while you were on an unauthorized side trip, however, your employer may be off the hook.


If you hit someone, you are responsible.

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It maes no difference that you were on private property, you are responsible for any damage caused by your negligence. If a claim is made against you, you may be covered thru your insurance or thru your employers insurance


No, it is not true. You are responsible for the damage along with your business.Report this incident to your liability carrier and they will pay for the damages.

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If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


Whether it is private property or not, you are still liable for the damage. If the other car was parked, then your insurance will pay for all the other person’s damages, including rent-a-car coverage, loss of use, etc. If the other car was not parked, then the most you would have to pay is $500. This is the mini-tort amount claim. Your insurance company should pay this on your behalf. If you were uninsured, then you would be responsible for all the damage, just as with a parked car. The only reason why private property is an issue is because some police departments will not write a police report for private property accidents. This again, has no effect whatsoever on liability.


No. If your car was insured, the other party's insurance company would pay for the property damage. If your car was not insured, the other party's insurance company would come after you for what it paid to fix the car.

If a person was injured by your vehicle, your insurance company would cover you to defend you for your alleged negligence against the injuries claimed by the other person(s)

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