Car damaged by trying to avoid a county lawn tractor parked and blocking our residential driveway

County lawn tractor blocked entrance to our residential driveway. 10 pm at night and pitched black out, tried to go around and damaged car by avoiding tractor. Called department and they refuse to make retribution and said we must go through our insurance and pay. It is, I believe, illegal to block access to a home.

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Accident Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It may well be illegal, but illegal is not the same as "negligent" or--also to the point--being the cause of a car accident. Whether it was dark or not, you damaged your car avoiding a stationary object; the law generally finds that the person who either hit, or is damaged trying to avoid hitting, a stationary object was driving negligently or carelessly and hence was at fault. A driver who was at fault cannot recover compensation; it is unlikely, on the facts you describe, that you are are entitled to compensation from the county.

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