What to do about damage that my car received due to a speed bump?

I was driving through my friend’s gated neighborhood at around 30-40 mph (I don’t quite recall the exact number but it was around there). The neighborhood had just installed a speed bump close to the entrance of the community. Other speedbumps in the neighborhood are painted with white paint to make them visible, however, this new speedbump was (and still is not) painted. Due to my speed I hit the speedbump very hard and popped my two front (and admittedly old) tires. I’m thinking about suing the neighbourhood’s HOA for not painting the speedbump and causing subsequent damage to my car. I have 2 questions on the subject: is my case valid and if the neighborhood speed limit is 15 mph, would this be used against me in court?

Asked on September 26, 2013 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Hello. Please do turn to an attorney licensed in your state and she/he will be happy to assist you. The sorts of issues you describe tend to hinge on state law. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will speak initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in a limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.

 

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Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the fact that you were driving more than twice the posted speed limit would most definitely be used against you if you took this case to court.  California, like Arizona, is a pure comparative fault state.  This means that the judge or jury would be asked to assess the percentage of fault to assign to you and the percentage of fault to assign to the HOA and divide up the damages accordingly.  California, again like Arizona, recognizes the concept of negligence per se, which is if you were violating the law, you are presumed to have been negligent.  Here you were breaking not only the community's posted speed limit, but also the presumed limit for residential neighborhoods of 25 mph.  So you will be presumed to have been negligent whereas that will be a factual question to be solved with respect to the HOA.  Then there is the fact that your tires were old and therefore not worth much.  Even if you do not hire an attorney, it will probably cost you more to bring the claim than you will ever recover from the HOA.


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