If someone causes damage to a vehicle when in fear fire their life, are they still at fault?

A gentleman almost ran me over with his car when he revved his motor. I turned and kicked his car. I broke his fog light. He called the police and I told them what happened. Their final decision was I had to pay for damages.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is "how" and "when" did you kick the car?

If you were dodging out of the way, and as you jumped aside, your foot accidentally hit his fog light and broke it (basically, he ran into your foot), you would not be liable.

However, if you deliberately kicked at his car--such as because you were frightened or angry, etc.--you would be liable, because in that case, you acted intentionally to damage his property. Whether the fear or anger, etc. was justified and reasonable does not grant a license to damage another's property.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.