If someone strikes a parked vehicle, the person driving is most likely to be held liable for the accident. This is because the person in the moving vehicle has greater control to navigate away from the path of a non-moving vehicle and prevent a collision from happening. But, if the wreck occurs when the stationary car is parked at an unauthorized spot, the driver of the illegally parked vehicle can be held accountable as well.
If you have accidentally struck an illegally parked vehicle, contact the New Orleans accident lawyer firm at the Morris Bart law firm right away to discuss your options for holding the other party accountable so that you can collect any damages you may have sustained.
Determining Fault for Hitting a Vehicle Parked Illegally
Every driver on the road is legally responsible for abiding by traffic and federal/state laws when operating a motor vehicle. Activities such as texting and driving, speeding, ignoring the stop sign, and jumping a red light are examples of negligence. Parking illegally is also a negligent act.
When a driver parks a vehicle in an unauthorized location, they put their vehicle in danger of being hit. Thus, they may share some responsibility if another motorist collides with the parked car. This is especially true if the vehicle is illegally parked in a low visibility area, like behind a large piece of construction equipment.
In such an instance, the driver of the unlawfully parked vehicle may share the majority of the fault as the oncoming driver may not have been able to see the stationary car. If the illegally parked car was visible when it was struck, then the other vehicle’s driver may hold most of the fault for the wreck.
The Driver’s Responsibilities
Whether or not a parked vehicle is situated in an unlawful spot, you must drive diligently by paying attention to the road, driving within the speed limit, and being prepared to swerve or stop if an unexpected object comes up.
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What to Do If You Hit an Illegally Parked Vehicle?
Follow these steps below if you are involved in an accident with an illegally parked car:
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
If you collide with a parked vehicle, make sure you stay at the scene of the accident. Driving away without leaving a note with your contact information for the other driver will upgrade even a minor collision into a hit-and-run case that comes with much more severe penalties.
If you cannot find the driver of the parked vehicle, leave a note with your name, contact number, address, and insurance policy information.
Call the Police
It is essential to call the police even if it was a minor accident, especially if the car you crashed onto was parked illegally.
The police will investigate the accident, write an accident report, and ticket the illegally parked vehicle’s driver for not adhering to the parking regulations.
They may also collect key evidence like photographs, tire tracks, and crash diagrams that can help establish the illegally parked driver’s fault in the accident. When filing a claim, you can submit this information to convince the at-fault party’s insurance to prove the driver’s fault.
Regardless of the information the law enforcement collects, it is always prudent that you take photographs or videos of the damage on both vehicles and the license plate numbers. Make sure to take a wide-angle shot of the entire crime scene, with evidence that shows the vehicle was parked illegally (for example, a ‘No Parking’ sign).
You also want to note the weather and road conditions and obtain contact information from any witnesses present at the accident scene.
Comparative Negligence Law in Louisiana
La. Civ. Code Art. 2323states that Louisiana observes the pure comparative negligence doctrine when handling car accidents.
This means you can recover compensation even if you collide with a parked car. However, the compensation you recover will be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident.
Call to Speak with a Lawyer Right Now
If you have accidentally hit an illegally parked car, you may still be eligible to recover compensation from the other driver. While you may be thinking about filing the claim with the other driver’s insurance yourself, know that the insurance carrier may argue that you were responsible for the crash and give you less than what you deserve.
An attorney from the Morris Bart law office can gather facts that prove the other driver’s liability in the accident, especially proof of the fact that they were parked in an unlawful location that may have contributed to the accident. Speak with a lawyer at (504) 613-4771 and allow our attorneys to help you pursue a fair settlement.
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