Is my apartment complex responsible for the trash can door hitting my truck?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is my apartment complex responsible for the trash can door hitting my truck?

Our parking spot is right next to the trash can. Someone left it open and with the wind it

banged into my truck and now it has a huge dent. Is the apartment complex held liable?

Asked on November 3, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not liable UNLESS you can prove that it was a complex employee and not, say, a tenant or tenant's guest or even someone wholly unconnected to the complex, who left it open AND that it was unreasonably careless to do so, because it would have been reasonable to assume that leaving it open could damage a nearby car. Even living that second issue--the reasonableness (or not) of leaving it open--aside for the moment, you have to prove that it was an employee to hold the complex liable, and unless this was captured on video tape (e.g. a security camera) or there was a witness or an employee admitted it was his/her fault, it is very unlikely that you can prove this. The complex is not liable if it was done by someone not under their control.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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