If my car was parked in my driveway and was damaged by a neighbor’s child playing in my yard, who is responsible?

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If my car was parked in my driveway and was damaged by a neighbor’s child playing in my yard, who is responsible?

The kid fell into my car while playing. He is a big and left a nice dent in my car. The car was parked in my driveway. The kid was playing in my yard and my neighbor’s yard, not his yard, with my kids. Who is responsible for fixing the dent?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The neighbor should be responsible. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children and for also "controlling" or supervising their children. Whether the child was negligent (careless); or if he's too young for that concept to apply, the parents were negligent by not supervising him better; or even (possibly) the child did the damage deliberately (e.g. got made, threw a tantrum), the parents should be responsible for paying for the damage he did. Of course, if they won't pay voluntarily, you would have to sue to seek compensation, which has it's own monetary and time costs, as well as obviously having a significant impact on your relations with these neighbors. Therefore, if they don't want to pay, weigh carefully whether it is worth bringing a legal action for compensation. Good luck.


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