Am I liable if someone driving brakes because of my property and an unsecured item in their truck damages their window?

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Am I liable if someone driving brakes because of my property and an unsecured item in their truck damages their window?

My kid’s skateboard went into the street and stopped, she looked both ways and saw a pick up truck turning into the neighborhood and waited at the sidewalk. The pickup braked and the unsecured pressure washer in the bed of their truck cracked the window. The driver stated that they saw the skateboard, were afraid a kid was going to run out into the street so they slammed on their brakes. Are we liable?

Asked on May 4, 2019 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, you are not liable based on what you write:
1) You child did nothing wrong: she waited at the sidewalk. You are not liable because of something that did not occur but which the driver feared might occur; you are only liable if you child was in fact careless or negligent.
2) The other side (the driver) cannot recover compensation from you if the damage was their own fault: if they failed to secure a heavy object (the pressure washer) so that it could slide around and hit the back of their cab, that is their fault, not yours.


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