What is my recourse if my car was totaled when I hit a structural stone mailbox that was too close to the road?

Normally if you goof and hit a mailbox, your car is scratched up and you buy the homeowner a new one. I went off the road by a bit and a mailbox that was a stone structure. Such a mailbox, is non-breakaway and is a code violation according to my county’s code. My airbags deployed and the passenger front suspension was damaged, in addition to body damage. My car is a total loss according to my insurance company. Does the homeowner have any liability in this case?

Asked on September 15, 2016 under Accident Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not have any liability in this case, even if the mailbox was a code violation, since you were unequivocally at fault--it is by definition negligent, or unreasonably careless, to strike a visible stationary object, since a reasonably careful driver will not. You cannot recover compensation when you were at fault for the damage.

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