Is my neighbor responsible for fixing my fence if they damaged it during a snowstorm?

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Is my neighbor responsible for fixing my fence if they damaged it during a snowstorm?

My neighbor was trying to get out of their driveway during a snow storm. They slid off into my yard and while trying to get the car unstuck it went backwards into my fence bending the corner post. I have pictures and want to know what I need to do to get my fence fixed?

Asked on January 21, 2011 under Accident Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can contact the neighbor's auto insurance carrier and file a claim for property damage.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages (cost of repairs) by using a repair shop for the fence whose charges are comparable to other fence repair shops in your area.  If you select the most expensive repair shop, your damages will be reduced accordingly.

If you are unable to resolve the matter with the neighbor's insurance carrier, you could file a lawsuit for negligence against the neighbor.  You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

Depending on the amount of damage to the fence, you may be able to file the lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in the lawsuit) should include the cost of repairs to the fence plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.


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