If we were subleasing to a renter and she parked in our garage and some of our things fell and scratched it, who is at fault if she is the reason that the things fell in the first place?

One day she claimed that all of our things fell on her car and caused a scratch on the side of it. Apparently she hit something to cause the things to fall but she is denying it. However the scratch clearly shows she hit something as she parked. Who is at fault?

Asked on October 24, 2015 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You both could be at fault. You are correct that she could, and likely would, be at fault for hitting the items or storage unit that fell and causing them to fall. But if the objects were in an unsafe location (e.g. too close to where a car pulls in) or filed in a dangerous fashion, you could have been negligent, or careless, and therefore liable, too. Both both parties are liable, the law generally essentially pro rates the damages (the monetary compensation) between them, based on their fault.

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