If I was parked in my friend’s driveway and their storm door was blown over and it hit the side of my car, who is at fault to pay for the damage?

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If I was parked in my friend’s driveway and their storm door was blown over and it hit the side of my car, who is at fault to pay for the damage?

Their storm door was propped against the side of the part of the house that I was parked next to.

Asked on November 20, 2013 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If it would be unreasonably careless to have left a storm door propped up that way, near a parking spot, it would be your friend's fault and liability; on the other hand, if a reasonable person would have propped the door up that way, not anticipating that a strong gust of wind would knock it into another person's car, then they would not be liable. It depends on the circumstances: how heavy was the door, how close it was to where you parked, whether you parked in a normal parking spot or where someone would not normally park, whether it would be reasonable to expect it may be blown over, etc.

Bear  in mind that no what, even if your friend is liable, he or she would not be liable for more than the cost to repair the damage; and that if the friend refuses to voluntarily pay that amount, you'd have to sue the friend and win in court--which takes time and, if you hire an attorney, money--to do. Thus, depending on how muc is at stake, you could spend more time and money pursuing compensation than the compensation is worth.


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