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

Answers:

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.


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