What to do if as driving into a gated community and followed a car in (I have a transponder for the gate) but the gate crashed down on my new car and damaged it?

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What to do if as driving into a gated community and followed a car in (I have a transponder for the gate) but the gate crashed down on my new car and damaged it?

When the gate came down on my car it damaged it by creating a huge dent and scratch. It was supposed to be padded but they just replaced the gate and did not have the pad on. They said they don’t have to pay because I switched my transponder from the car I sold to my new car and that voids it. It has worked on all the gates so I know it is not voided. Are they responsible to pay for my car?

Asked on February 20, 2015 under Accident Law, Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The gated community is liable for the property damage to your car.  Contact the gated community to obtain its insurance information and file a claim for property damage (cost of repairs to your vehicle) with  the gated community's insurance carrier.

If the case is settled with the gated community's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If the case is NOT settled with the gated community's insurance carrier, file a lawsuit for negligence against the gated community.  The gated community was negligent for not having the pad installed on the new gate.

You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit should include the cost of repairs to your car and court costs.  Court costs include the court filing fee and process server fee.

If the case is NOT settled with the gated community's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the gated community must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting an auto body repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto body repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive auto body repair shop you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.


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