What to do if I was exiting a state park when the gate, which was opened and unsecured, swung open and caused serious damage to my car?

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2013

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What to do if I was exiting a state park when the gate, which was opened and unsecured, swung open and caused serious damage to my car?

The damage was to my bumper, headlight, and fender. I do not want to claim this on my insurance because its not my fault. As this was an unsecured gate can I force the county/state/park manager to fix my car? This is a brand new car, only had it for two months. I want it looking nice again.

Asked on June 2, 2013 under Accident Law, Texas


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can file a property damage claim with the State.  The State is usually self-insured.  The rangers at the state park should be able to provide you with the insurance information and how to file your property damage claim.  Your claim would include the cost of repairs to your car and a rental car if you need a rental car while your car is being repaired.  If you need a rental car, the State's insurance carrier usually has a maximum rate per day, and you will need to rent a car with a reasonable rate.  This accident does NOT go on your insurance because you were NOT at fault in the accident.

Insurance companies won't pay for the additional insurance the rental car agency will try to sell you.  Your credit card may provide that insurance on a rental car and therefore purchasing additional insurance is unnecessary.  The State's insurance carrier will reimburse you for the cost of the rental car.

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