Should my bank be liable for fixing my tire because it was damaged on its property since its parking lot was not properly maintained?

We had bad snow early this week. I went to my bank to deposit a check and my van slid in their parking lot and hit the curb and caused damage to my tire.

Asked on December 3, 2015 under Accident Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The bank would only be liable or responsible IF you can show that they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in how they maintained the lot. That would require showing that they had not plowed/shoveled/etc. their lot to the extent normally expectedor required for commercial parking lots, and that they'd had a reasonable chance to plow it out (e.g. that the snow had ended long enough ago that they reasonably could have plowed the lot out before you entered it). If the lot was plowed as well as other commercial parking lots, and/or the snow was still ongoing, so they not have been expected to have plowed it out yet, they would not be liable. 
Furthermore, even if they were liable (e.g. had not plowed), if you were also negligent or careless, such as by driving too fast for conditions, to the extent you were also at fault, that would reduce what you could recover as compensation.
The only compenation you would be entitled to, even if the bank is liable, is the cost of the damaged tire and any other directly associated costs (e.g. cost to tow, if your car was towed; the tire shop labor cost, if you brought it into a repair shop to remount the tire; etc.). If the bank will not voluntarily pay you, you'd have to sue them for the money; it may not be case that the cost of a tire is worth the time, cost, and effort of a lawsuit.


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